Snow storm budget blown Salting, sanding, clean-up tops $360,000 for ’06

It began in late October/early November with a sudden cold snap.

It began in late October/early November with a sudden cold snap.
Then came lashing winds that brought down trees and power lines and left homes and businesses without electricity for days.
Then followed a blast of frigid Arctic air, heavy rain that caused flooding, and a blizzard that seemed to catch everyone off guard.
More wind, heavy rain and unseasonably high temperatures brought 2006 to a close.
Then more wind and a massive snowfall started the new year.
Few can argue that this winter’s weather has been wild.
And Township and City taxpayers will foot the bill for weather-related clean-up.
“By the time all of the bills are in, we will probably be over the snow and ice budget by about 20 per cent,” said Township operations manager Rene Payer.
The 2006 budget of $300,000 has already reached $360,000, he said.
In the City, snow and ice removal, salting and sanding cost $175,190, said finance director Darrin Leite. That is more than 12 per cent above the budgeted total of 155,920.
As the budgets for both jurisdictions operate on the calendar year, Wednesday’s snow and ice removal put an early dent into the 2007 budget.
Work crews in the City and Township worked around the clock clearing snow that began to fall early on Wednesday, started up again around lunchtime and didn’t ease until supper time.
Some areas of Langley reported well over a foot of snow.
Sunny days and freezing temperatures have added to driving woes. While crews continue to salt and sand icy surfaces, salt becomes less effective as the mercury dips. At minus 8, it is ineffective.
Meanwhile, once the snow and ice have melted, Langley’s public works departments will be able to assess the extent of pot holes, erosion and other damage caused by the rain, cold and fluctuating temperatures.
“We have pot holes all over the place,” Payer said. “We can only attend to them as we hear about them, but pot hole damage is beginning to mount.”
He asked people to report damage to the Township’s trouble line at 604-532-7300. He added that erosion cannot be repaired in the current weather conditions.
Payer said that the municipality still has not finished clearing away fallen trees from November’s big windstorm.
His City counterpart Dan Mooney said that Wednesday’s storm was “a bit of a challenge” because the peak of the storm occurred at rush hour.
At one point, 200 Street was closed between 46 and 48 Avenues as City crews help motorists put vehicles out of the deepening snow. Traffic was re-routed along 53 Avenue.

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