Tag: Alexa Levair

Yellow snow plow on icy road

Snow and ice policy under review

Town council has directed administration to review its snow and ice policy, following a flurry of complaints by concerned residents.

Alexa Levair, Pincher Creek’s director of operations, was asked to speak to the town’s snow and ice policy when council met at last week’s committee of the whole. The policy, which is available for viewing on the town’s website, prioritizes hills, emergency routes and the downtown core along Main Street for sanding and snowplowing. 

School zones and traffic signs are listed as second- and third-level priorities.

Councillors said they’d heard complaints over the Christmas holiday from residents who felt their streets ought to have been plowed.

“I was definitely told by some members of our community that Adelaide Street wasn’t being looked after,” Coun. Mark Barber told the committee, referring to a nearby condominium complex that caters to seniors. 

“I was hoping that the seniors centres were on high-priority snow removal,” he added. 

Levair reminded council that, while such complaints are common, Pincher Creek’s snow and ice policy doesn’t prioritize residential streets. 

Despite prevalent misconceptions to the contrary, Levair pointed out that “We aren’t actively plowing every single residential road whenever it snows.”

 

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The town has neither the staff and equipment nor the budget to do much more in terms of plowing and removing snow, she explained.

Mayor Don Anderberg said he’d heard similar complaints, but suggested that a previous council had prioritized snowplowing on Hewetson Avenue leading up to the intersection of Adelaide Street. 

Speaking at her office Thursday, Levair said snowplowing isn’t as easy as it might appear. 

“Wherever you plow snow, you have to put it somewhere else,” she said, explaining that snow has to be carted away when it piles up. It’s certainly not impossible, but it is time-consuming and costly, she later told Shootin’ the Breeze.

The committee of the whole passed a motion directing Levair to look into whether or not council had upped snowplowing and removal near Adelaide Street.

The director of operations said she planned to bring the town’s snow and ice policy back to council for review this summer. 

“It’s about finding a balance,” she said from her office at the town works yard. “Ultimately, it’s council who sets that balance.”

 

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Wooden playground equipment and a yellow slide at the Pincher Creek town playground

Town council considers renos and rebuilding

Both plans were addressed at council’s Jan. 4 committee of the whole meeting, where council voted to accept assessment reports and construction estimates submitted by the Calgary consulting firm, Stephenson Engineering.

Council has neither awarded construction contracts, nor set aside money for either project in this year’s budget. 

Stephenson’s reports to council highlight a lack of suitable office space at both sites, recommending an estimated $3.2-million overhaul to the town office at 962 St. John Ave., and a roughly $8.5-million build for a new works yard near the current yard at 1068 Kettles St.

The town office was converted from an elementary school in the 1990s and, while council chambers and some civic offices were built in the facilities’ east wing, the west wing’s classrooms, gymnasium and washrooms designed for children remain largely unchanged. 

Stephenson recommends building a new parking lot where the children’s playground now stands, plus more offices and an expansion to council chambers. The firm meanwhile recommends holding on to the gym in the west wing.

 

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Speaking at the committee of the whole meeting, Alexa Levair, who replaced Al Roth as director of operations last November, told council that Roth had kept his office in a defunct classroom for lack of office space. 

The town would rebuild the playground, Levair told council. 

The town’s works yard is too old and too congested to be refurbished, Stephenson concluded. The report details an acute lack of office space, plus a number of accessibility barriers. At one point, the report highlights that “Only one change room is provided (at the works yard), so it is not suitable for any female staff.” 

Council has not resolved construction timelines for either project. Stephenson’s report recommends running the existing operations yard while replacement facilities are built at a town-owned site bounded by Table Mountain and McEachern streets to the north and south, and Mountain View Avenue and Allison Street to the west and east. 

Stephenson factored in a 20 per cent contingency in its cost estimations for both projects.

 

 

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