Saskatoon snow won’t be removed until January: city report

A new report, presented to Saskatoon city council, predicts snow from November's blizzard won't be completely removed until the end of January 2021. Files / Global News

A report prepared by the City of Saskatoon administration states the snow from the blizzard in early November won’t be removed from some areas of the city until the end of January.

The report, which was presented to city council on Monday, said estimated contractor availability and snow removal volumes means efforts will take about two months, “with completion targeted for the end of January 2021.”

It notes the city received between 35 and 38 centimetres of snow on Nov. 7 through to Nov. 9, with several more “snow events” taking place since then, stating that the city “has already received over half of the annual snowfall in a two-week period.”

Read more: Adjusted 2021 city budget still sees Saskatoon property taxes increasing 3.87%

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Since then, it goes on, snow grading “to restore basic mobility on city priority streets” has been completed.

The report also said the removal of snow piles and ridges of snow along the sides, and in the middle of, streets near schools and in business improvement districts (BIDs) has also been completed but that snow removal on “priority streets will require multiple weeks of effort.”

The administrators wrote they cannot predict the rate of progress because city workers have not undertaken an effort of this magnitude before.

Goran Saric, the city’s roadways director, Matt Jurkiewicz, the construction and design director and Dan Willems, the technical services director, wrote that up to five contractor crews will remove snow and that work on residential streets will be done during the day to limit nighttime noise and take advantage of fewer cars being parked.

Read more: Saskatoon snow cleanup will cost ‘millions of dollars’ after blizzard, city manager says

The three authors estimate the snow removal efforts will cost between $6 million and $7 million.

The entire cost of snow grading and removal was already estimated to cost more than the $10 million budget dedicated to both actions this year.

The report states the cost will be spread over the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years and notes there is a risk that snow removal efforts could again exceed the current cost estimate if there are one or more “large snow events.”

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The report also states the 2021 budget has not been updated to reflect the new fiscal burden because snow budgets are based on averages and it’s not standard practice to reflect one-time events.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon snow cleanup will cost ‘millions of dollars’: city manager' Saskatoon snow cleanup will cost ‘millions of dollars’: city manager
Saskatoon snow cleanup will cost ‘millions of dollars’: city manager – Nov 13, 2020

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