Council considers removal bylaw after heavy snow and ice year

Should those who don't clear snow and ice from in front of their property be presented with a bill?

Council recently received two letters regarding snow and ice clearing in Cranbrook. One of the letters dealt specifically with the area of Willowbrook Drive across from the Quad Ball Park. The sidewalk that runs in front of Willowbrook Estates.

Mayor Wayne Stetski asked staff to bring back a report from one year ago that highlights the options that are in place in other communities for snow and ice removal.

“This is a very difficult year, of course, for sidewalks and ice,” Stetski said at Monday night’s regular Council meeting. “I’ve never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve lived here. But it does raise the question again of whether or not Council wants to require all property owners to be responsible for clearing the sidewalk in front of their residences or part of their property or not.”

The second letter asked council to consider exactly that.

Coun. Gerry Warner was not happy with the amount of ice on the sidewalk in front of Willow Brook Estates.

“It’s a long sidewalk, because Willowbrook Estates is a big place,” he said, adding that parts were as bad today as they were in November for ice. Warner thought the city should just go ahead and clear the ice then present Willowbrook with a bill.

“I think in this case the paramount concern is the safety of people trying to use that sidewalk. You go right next door and see Golden Life, which is an even bigger complex and that sidewalk is cleaned right after it snows.”

Coun. Denise Pallesen warned that she had brought up a similar issue five years ago.

“Once you start to maintain that, you always have to continue to maintain that because there is that expectation,” Pallesen said, adding it would be cost prohibitive in both dollars and personnel-hours.

Coun. Angus Davis agreed.

“It all sounds wonderful, but once you start you better be prepared to do the whole town, because everybody is a taxpayer,” Davis said. “We have sidewalks that aren’t being plowed, all sorts of things that need to be done.”

Coun. Warner later brought up his motion in his council report to clear the ice and then present the bill to Willowbrook Estates. The rest of council worried that it would set too much of a precedent and so it ultimately failed.

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