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MD snow clearing policy amended following complaint

“We encourage the public to talk to our roads foreman. It is still a pretty easy and informal process.”
MD of Bighorn building winter 4
The MD of Bighorn administration building in Exshaw. RMO FILE PHOTO

MD OF BIGHORN – After a complaint was received from a business in the Exshaw Industrial Park regarding snow being pushed into the boulevard, the MD has amended its snow clearing bylaw.

This new amendment will make it easier for the MD to enforce and prevent the stockpiling of snow from a premise onto a road right-of-way.

Administration recommended the Highway and Traffic Bylaw be amended to have the term boulevards and ditches in the MD the same as the definition of highway in the provincial Traffic Safety Act.

The amendment will also forbid anyone from placing snow from their own property onto the highway. Originally, the bylaw simply stated no person could place snow on the sidewalk or roadway.

The MD operates snow stockpile sites where snow can be dumped. In order to do so, a permit is needed.

“We encourage the public to talk to our roads foreman,” said Bill Luka, director of operations for the MD. “It is still a pretty easy and informal process.”

Luka noted the roads foreman sent out a letter to businesses in addition to a website and social media promotion.

“We will do another one as soon as this is adopted,” he said, adding there was no fee as the MD wanted to encourage people to use the site, and provide an opportunity for a solution to businesses.

Coun. Jen Smith noted she had heard from some residents on concerns for environmental impact from the snow sites.

“How do we control any negative environmental impacts at our storage sites?”

Luka said the MD follows all provincial guidelines for the site.

“We rotate our storage sites annually amongst three sites,” Luka said. “Because of our large area, but small towns, we don’t use that much salt compared to other municipalities.”