February 13, 2018 8:11 pm
Updated: February 13, 2018 8:46 pm

Patience urged as snow-clearing efforts continue in Calgary

WATCH: The City of Calgary has received an onslaught of calls about snow covered sidewalks in recent days. Tracy Nagai reports.

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As a number of Calgarians complain about the amount of snow and difficulty getting around their neighbourhoods, Councillor Ward Sutherland is asking for a little bit of patience.

So far this month, snowfall in Calgary has exceeded the amount that normally falls in February and it’s only halfway through the month.

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People are complaining about impassable roads and sidewalks and are calling on the city to do more.

Sutherland says having the city deal with ruts and windrows in residential areas would cost $15 million — equal to a one per cent hike in property taxes — and it would only deal with one snow event.

“We have to have a realistic expectation. If people want that service, I’m certainly willing to hear if they do but it comes at a cost.”

Sutherland said the city has made improvements to the way it handles snow clearing.

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“Three winters ago, we had where people were snowed in and couldn’t get out,” he said. “We’ve had the same amount of snow as last time and we haven’t had the same issues.

“We’re using a lot more outside contracting. We’re dealing with things much differently than we’ve had before.”

Councillor George Chahal wonders if there’s a better way to deal with residential concerns.

“When we do have these big heavy storms and a lot of snow that falls, how do we deal within those internal communities?”

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“Crossing crosswalks at schools, LRT stations with that much snow — it’s up to your knees in many cases, imagine if you had a stroller or a senior trying to walk through that — there is some concerns with that and we need to take a look at that to ensure we can get out very quickly to those neighbourhoods.”

The city’s snow and ice control budget is $35 million, far less than what many other Canadian cities spend.

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