From: Philip St. George, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
NORTH BAY – City Councillor Vic Tikus, Chair of Engineering, Public Works and Environmental Services, announced Sunday evening that North Bay’s Snow Budget is depleted.
“To be blunt, the snow plow funds have run out” says Tikus. “We had a good run of it, and we got many streets cleared, but it’s done now.”
City Council approved an almost $1 million budget in March for the removal of snow and ice from some 300 kilometers of North Bay’s roads over the 2017-2018 winter.
“We left an extra $80 000 in there in case we needed to contract a company to remove snow banks,” Tikus says. “But we’ve used that too.”
Saturday’s heavy snowfall is being blamed, as the city was blanketed with almost 25 centimeters of snow over a 24 hour period.
“We knew we needed to clear two areas: Main Street because of the Santa Claus parade, and Airport because that’s where I live.”
Since the announcement, many members of the City Council have received complaints and concerns about road safety over the coming four months of winter.
North Bay City Councillor Grey Terrence tried to address those concerns Monday morning from his comfortable Callander home.
“Well, we’re just going to have to make due with no plows or sanders” Terrence started. “Do you think they had those 500 years ago? No. And they got by just fine, so we can too.”
The Best Brine
“Every street needs to be done within a 24-hour period immediately after a snow storm” Vic Tikus explained. “The snow fell on a weekend and during the evening, so there was a lot of additional costs. We did the best we could given how uncommon this sort of thing is.”
Some accused the Roads Department of paying too much for the salt brine it used to keep roads clear on Saturday, but Tikus defended the move.
“We wanted our streets to be clear of snow and ice and the best thing for that is salt brine shipped directly from the Indian Ocean. It’s expensive to have it brought in from New Dehli but we wanted only the best sea brine and we go it. And it worked! The roads were incredibly clear Saturday.”
So what do we do now?
“Just drive a little slower and pack a shovel. If you’re really worried about the roads, either start walking or start scooping. The city would be clear in no time if every man, woman and child just shoveled a little off the roads. I mean really, we don’t even need snow plows.”
“Still, all in all, I think we had a pretty good run.”