Delta approved an updated snow and ice removal policy on Sept. 18. (Corporation of Delta/Twitter photo)

Delta approved an updated snow and ice removal policy on Sept. 18. (Corporation of Delta/Twitter photo)

Delta updates snow policy after $1.5-million year

Updates include an added shift, edits to third-priority streets and formalized facilities policies

Delta staff feel the municipality is ready for winter, after a revised snow and ice control policy was approved by council on Sept. 18.

“We’re prepared better this year to take on whatever happens,” said Delta CAO George Harvie.

The snow and ice control policy was last updated in 2008, according to a report presented by director of corporate services Sean McGill.

The main changes in the current update include a formalization of the relationship between Delta and E-COMM (911) for after-hours calls; the creation of an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift between Dec. 1 and Feb. 28, Monday to Friday, for snow monitoring; and the clarification that minor residential streets can be cleared after normal working hours with the approval of the CAO.

The report also established first, second and third priority areas for facilities buildings.

According to Ken Kuntz, director of parks, recreation and culture, facilities like recreation centres will have two teams working to remove snow and ice: the parking lots and surrounding areas will be done by parks crews, while the sidewalks done by facilities staff using shovels, snow blowers, salt and sand.

Typically, Delta’s snow and ice control budget comes in around $350,000 according to Karl Preuss, director of finance. Last year, it was about $1.5 million.

Although those costs were “excessive compared to normal,” Preuss said the cost was manageable because it was distributed over two budget cycles, coming in December and January. Money was taken from reserves to accommodate the spending.

“This was just an abnormal year,” he said. There were eight distinct snow and ice events in Delta, which required more than 4,000 tons of salt and 300,000 litres of brine.

At council, Harvie noted that a formal agreement has been signed to see an additional salt works yard installed in North Delta at 8100 Nordel Way, at a purpose-built facility previously used by the province.

“It’s going to help the efficiencies and attention to the roads here tremendously,” Harvie said. Currently, drivers distributing salt in North Delta have to drive down to the Delta public works yard in Ladner to refill their trucks with road salt.

“It couldn’t come at a better time, because the South Delta works yard is so over capacity to meet the needs of both South Delta and North Delta,” he said.

The works yard agreement has been signed by both parties, but there are still conditions to be met. Harvie hopes to have the final agreement signed by the end of October.

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