Williams Lake is exploring the idea no longer using salt on roads during its regular winter maintenance. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Williams Lake considering salt-free winter road maintenance

Council and staff debated salt usage at a recent committee of the whole meeting

Williams Lake city council is considering taking salt off the table for use in its winter road maintenance.

During the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, the city’s director of municipal services Gary Muraca said the City used 1,400 metric tons of salt last year and is regulated federally to monitor its salt use.

“We have to file reports every year on salt use so we have reduced the amount we use and try not to go over certain areas twice,” Muraca said.

The expectation in Williams Lake is for bare roads and that cannot be achieve without the use of salt, or chemicals, he added.

“We have pretty high expectations for our roads, compared to other northern communities, even some southern communities. Quesnel doesn’t use salt,” he added.

Coun. Scott Nelson said he’d like to see the City weaned off salt, and suggested adopting a plan that would see the city no longer using salt in five years.

“We could do a gradual decline as a policy initiative and then an environmental statement. A number of our outfalls go into the lake and if salt is put on the road [it will end up in the lake].”

Mayor Walt Cobb agreed.

“It’s the environmental impact and the fact the salt melts the snow and ice, it becomes water, gets in cracks in the roads, then it gets cold, freezes and all of a sudden we’ve got a bunch of potholes,” Cobb said.

Coun. Ivan Bonnell said there are many grades in around town where it’s difficult to stop in the winter.

“Sand won’t take ice away, salt will. You come down some grades and you cannot stop,” Bonnell said.

Coun. Jason Ryll chairs the public works committee and said at this point staff and council are only gathering information.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Speaking up for resource communities topic of #TheNorthMatters meeting in Williams Lake Sunday

“No one’s here to cause a problem,” Barnett said. “We’re here to solve a problem.”

Former Olympian Ian James jumps into new role with city

New director of community services happy to be in the lakecity

Lost and Found showcases power of abstract and found art

In the Station House’s Main Gallery this month art is found amidst discarded things

Williams Lake Farmers Market winding down for the year

The Williams Lake Farmers Market’s experiment with the Tuesday evening market has proven a success

Williams Lake’s Cops for Cancer Tour de North riders hosting Mr. Mikes burger fundraiser Sept. 15

Hosted by Mr. Mikes, the cost will be $5 for a Mr. Mikes burger and a beverage.

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read