SOUTH STORMONT, Ontario – South Stormont Council is already planning for community winter safety, approving an increase in service on 13.9 km of municipalities sidewalks during the 2019-2020 season.
During a regular Council meeting on Wednesday, October 9, the decision to lease a Multihog CX75 sidewalk snow removal unit from Sontrac Equipment for $5,595 per month during the season was approved. Mayor Bryan McGillis feels this equipment upgrade will be essential in the process, and said that council will consider purchasing it if they determine it to be of necessity for municipal winter maintenance going forward.
“We are better improving our services,” send McGillis. “It’s happening, a little bit at a time.“
Mayor McGillis said the decision was made in part from public requests, for people who walk during winter months and to improve the general safety of the municipality. Previously, only 6.3 km of sidewalks were maintained, now 13.9 km will be in Long Sault, Ingleside and Newington. Increase sidewalk maintenance is set for the community of St. Andrews West following sidewalk reconstruction that is slated for 2020. Specifically, there will be an increase in service of 2.6 km in Long Sault, 3.8 km in Ingleside and 1.2 km in Newington.
Council is striving to meet the minimum requirements of section 16 of the Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways (MMS) regulation. The MMS was amended in May 2018 and includes significant changes involving increased weather monitoring.
Staff predicts there will be no financial impact as a result of increasing sidewalk maintenance throughout the municipality, as one full-time Public Works employee was authorized by Council in July of 2019 due to a high-level review of winter sidewalk snow clearing, and staff directed the elimination of snow clearing contracts.
Mayor McGillis said that he has heard, along with many other locals, that the season is calling for significant snowfall. He feels that this is the best time to make an equipment upgrade in anticipation.