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City tweaking driveway windrow clearing program

The City of Grande Prairie is taking a slightly different approach to windrow clearing this winter. Since the new residential snow removal program launched in 2014, elderly residents and those with mobility issues have been able to apply to have the windrow at the end of their driveway cleared.

To identify which houses the snow plows should watch for, city staff have gone ahead and spray painted the end of the driveway. However, manager of transportation Robert Carroll says they’re getting rid of that task by issuing green pylons.

“The owner would be responsible for putting the green cone out the morning of the day that we’re in the neighbourhood doing the clearing operation and that would identify the driveway as one on the program,” he explains. “This allows our staff to do more productive things such as doing quality control on the work the contractors are doing.”

There are nearly 1,500 homes registered in the Driveway Windrow Clearing Program and Carroll says in some neighbourhoods, a staff member’s entire day can be taking up by identifying them. He believes eliminating that will improve efficiency.

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“Some of the older areas of town had hundreds of driveways, so they’re running around with a spreadsheet and a can of paint trying to keep all these driveways sorted out. This relieves them of that operation so they can do more productive things.”

Residents already part of the program will have their green pylon delivered to their address before the end of October. Each will be marked with the designated address.

Those enrolled will need to place the cone in their driveway, 1.5 metres away from the curb, before 8 a.m. on their snow clearing day. That’s the day before their garbage pickup, after 10 centimetres of snow has built up.

To sign up for the program, fill out an application at city hall. Carroll maintains it is for elderly people and those with permanent disabilities who don’t have anyone to help them. For others who may struggle with clearing their windrow, he recommends private snow removal services.

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