It hasn’t been just the snow piling up on the streets of Williams Lake but complaints on how it’s removed.
City Councillor Laurie Walters says within her seven years on Council, never has she received these many complaints on the City’s current policy on sidewalk snow removal.
“Mostly mobility issues of people not being able to get around and some of the businesses and residences not being able to do their due diligence in shoveling their sidewalks and that becomes problematic.”
Councillor Sue Zacharias who brought up the topic during Tuesday night’s regular Council meeting, says she, like Walters, has also received lots of phone calls.
Councillor Scott Nelson says the policy needs a massive overhaul and called on a serious review.
“I don’t support the way it sits right now and I think the majority of Council agrees with that, so we’ve got some significant work to do to change the policy to make it more accommodating for Williams Lake residents.”
Mayor Walt Cobb admits that the policy that is in place does not appear to be working but adds that it’s not the just issue of snow removal on sidewalks but streets as well.
He says although he has asked staff to make changes, they cannot do them without Council making policy changes first.
“They have to follow what Council direction has been and that’s in a written policy, so we have to change that policy before we can get staff to do things that are not in the policy and that’s where I was coming from because I tried to get some stuff done that was against the policy and staff cannot do that or they would be trouble.”
The City had left a majority of business owners and residents responsible for sidewalk snow removal themselves, facing fines of $100 per day when they issued changes to their sidewalk snow removal policy in November of last year to “make the best use of resources”.
Council says they will be reviewing their snow removal policy today.