City snowclearing review underway

Andrew
Andrew Robinson
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Public meetings scheduled for next week in St. John’s

A consultant’s review of the City’s of St. John’s snowclearing policy is getting started, with public meetings set to take place next week.
Meetings will be held Tuesday night at MacDonald Drive Junior High and Thursday at the Southlands Community Centre. Both are set to start at 7 p.m.

City of St. John’s snow plow. — Photos by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Coun. Jonathan Galgay said the consultation process will hopefully address what residents in the city have been asking for.

“This will be an opportunity for them to give presentations to a consultant and members of council who will be there to facilitate information sharing,” said Galgay, chair of the city’s public works standing committee. “What we hope to do is address many of the concerns that we faced this past winter.”

The timing for the review may seem odd, given winter has passed and K-12 students in the province are finishing school for the year.

Asked if there were any concerns that winter snowclearing issues might be the furthest thing from the minds of most residents, Galgay admitted there’s a risk that may prove to be true. However, he added that with time comes the ability to give thoughts further consideration.

“But it’s also a time for people — after the winter — to step back and evaluate,” he said.

“Bring up the issues that they did face, and perhaps they have a different perspective of it right now. It’s best to do it now instead of doing it in the winter, because now we have an opportunity to address many of the concerns that people brought forward.”

With that in mind, it’s expected the consultant’s review of winter maintenance in St. John’s will be completed in time to have an effect on the next snowclearing season. Galgay said policy changes can be implemented quickly, and added there will be financial considerations if new equipment is recommended.

“We will have enough time to digest the report, and as a council I’m sure we’ll do whatever is possible when the report is brought forward,” he said.

KPMG is the consultant contracted to complete the review. In addition to next week’s public meetings, residents will be able to submit their thoughts by email to snow@kpmg.ca.

Interested parties will also be able to visit a website for the consultation at www.snowsj.com (as of Wednesday’s publishing deadline, the website had not gone live).

Galgay said all councillors will gladly pass along any feedback received from residents to the consultants on their behalf.

The consultant is also expected to speak with city staff, including those involved in snowclearing operations. Groups set to meet with the consultant include Downtown St. John’s, Canada Post, Metrobus and the George Street Association.

arobinson@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: KPMG, Canada Post, George Street Association.arobinson

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