Meet the Mayor
December 3, 2014
Chetwynd has a reputation for keeping its streets driveable (and walkable) during the months of snow. That reputation is well deserved and our hardy outside crew members are to be thanked for the good work they do to keep us mobile, upright, and between the ditches. Of course when the snow is dumping on us it can take a few hours, days in some cases, to clear it all away. When the snow fall lasts several days the challenge is compounded but eventually the streets are clear again. I guess if we insisted on all streets being cleared immediately the snow clearing budget would be a lot bigger than it is and the paving budget would be eliminated. Council endeavours to establish a balance between what is achievable and what is reasonable under our circumstances.
Snow clearing is not always simple and uncomplicated. Vehicles parked on streets seriously interfere with the plows. In the Legion Sub a vehicle parked on the street will simply stop the plowing until the vehicle is moved or towed. Towing has already happened this winter. Not fun to come out expecting to get in your car and drive away only to find that it’s not where you left it.
Medevacs are never scheduled and can’t be planned. They happen any time of the day or night and the runway must be clear of snow. Here’s the process: Paul gets the call. Paul calls the crew lead who mobilizes the crew. There is a four hour max between the call to Paul and touchdown for plowing, blowing, and sweeping and the runway must be clean. No sand on the runway.
Clearing down town happens when most of us are still tucked in warm and cosy. The streets can’t be plowed so for these streets the scrapers, blower, and dump trucks are pressed into service.
Of course snow clearing is not the only past time for the outside workers between October and May. Life goes on in the city just like it does in your houses. A broken water main next to the Legion recently required attention. Winter is not the ideal time to be working on water installations but the temporary fix should last till the blue birds return when it will get the proper attention.
Winter is also the season when our sewer treatment facilities take the heaviest abuse – aside from a catastrophic flood event. Cold weather tends to freeze water, tamper with the aerators, and generally compromise the ability of the micro-organisms to do their work (hence, the urgent need to upgrade the septic disposal system over the next couple of years).
And winter brings another event: Christmas with all its cheer. Our outside crew took advantage of the warmer weather we always enjoy to hang the Christmas lights and we trust that you will appreciate their color and beauty every time you drive down town. Merry Christmas, Chetwynd; keep your gas tanks toped up and drive safely.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor