Gary, Bill, Randy, Chad, Marcus, Chad, Ryan, Teela, Cole and Julie stand in front of the sand and grader leased to ?Esdilagh. (Photo submitted by Emcon Services)

Gary, Bill, Randy, Chad, Marcus, Chad, Ryan, Teela, Cole and Julie stand in front of the sand and grader leased to ?Esdilagh. (Photo submitted by Emcon Services)

?Esdilagh First Nation takes over snow clearing on West Fraser Road

Before the area’s closest snow clearing crew was stationed in Quesnel

Those living on West Fraser Road should have quicker snow clearing service thanks to a partnership between ?Esdilagh First Nation and Emcon Services.

The ?Esdilagh Development Corporation is leasing a grader and sand truck to clear the roads.

“Emcon’s been under the gun for snow plowing in the Quesnel area, and we’ve been talking for a year and a half, two years now to give our support the best way we can,” ?Esdilagh councillor Chad Stump said.

“We do the work, take the workload, and get it done for our people and our neighbours.”

Beyond providing jobs to members, the opportunity to get better service in the area during snowfalls was one ?Esdilagh couldn’t pass up on, with Stump noting the previous arrangement meant trucks didn’t get out to West Fraser Road until Quesnel was completely cleared.

“When snow falls, Quesnel is a priority, and for us to be able to take some of that and deliver that prioritized (station) to ?Esdilagh and the surrounding areas is really good for us,” he said.

READ MORE: Environment Canada warns of rapidly changing conditions amid B.C. winter storms

Emcon contract manager Chad Mernett said signing deals like this is a priority for Emcon, and not just to improve service.

“It’s a really important thing for us to come up with a partnership with the First Nations here,” he said.

“We hope it’s going to be a really great relationship that we have with them.”

A driving factor for making the deal for ?Esdilagh was ensuring good school bus service along West Fraser Road.

“It’s a learning curve for us,” Stump said.

“We’re not saying we’re experts, but we’re going to get the job done, and get it done as fast as possible.”

Before ?Esdilagh took over, the road was maintained by crews based in Quesnel or McCleese Lake.

“They can respond way quicker than we ever could,” Mernett said.

“We were an hour, hour and a half to get out there, whereas they can start basically out of their driveway.”

Mernett added Emcon was working to continue the relationship for summer road maintenance and freshet work as well.

READ MORE: More snow on the way in Quesnel

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


@GimliJetsMan
cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com

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