City’s snow removal policy under fire

The mayor and three city councillors in Williams Lake say they've been flooded with complaints about city snow removal this winter.

The mayor and three city councillors in Williams Lake say they’ve been flooded with complaints about snow removal this winter.

During the city council meeting Tuesday, Coun. Scott Nelson said he has never been told so many times what to do with a shovel.

“I simply cannot support our existing sidewalk snow clearing policy.”

Nelson said he visited many homes where people are away on holidays so the snow isn’t cleared and seniors cannot get around.

“It’s a terrible, terrible policy and doesn’t fit the needs of our community.”

“I’ve never seen it so bad,” added Mayor Walt Cobb. “Something has to be done.”

Quesnel’s budget for snow removal is about $1 million whereas Williams Lake’s is about $500,000, Cobb said, noting to match Quesnel would require a four per cent tax increase.

Meanwhile the Downtown Williams Lake BIA has a survey on snow removal rapidly gaining traction. It can be found  on the BIA’s Facebook page.

Coun. Sue Zacharias echoed Nelson saying she doesn’t normally receive many phone calls but she’s had quite a few about snow removal.

“I know the staff are doing the best they can but ultimately it’s the CAO’s and council’s responsibility to listen to what people are saying, and either address it, explain what’s going on or make changes,” Zacharias added.

As chair of the public works committee, Coun. Ivan Bonnell said public works is aware of the comments from the public regarding the street and sidewalk clearing and the snow dumping area at the foot of Comer Street.

“We will be addressing some of those (issues) at our meeting scheduled for Wednesday,” Bonnell said.