1. How is it determined what road or sidewalk is plowed first?
The municipality determines snow and ice removal by following the Council approved guideline called Maintenance Quality Standards for Roads. This details road type, classification and deployment at accumulation and time to clear snow and treat icy conditions and identifies treatment standards. The information is the basis for prioritizing snow and ice service delivery.
2. Why did the plow only clear one side of my street?
The plow travels on the right side of the road with traffic and is therefore only capable of directing the snow only one way-off the right side of the truck. You may see the plow clear only one side of your street before they are able to safely turn around and return to plow the other half of the street. Please be assured that we will return to clear your entire street.
3. Why is it taking so long for the crews to plow my street?
Streets are prioritized for the delivery of snow and ice removal service through the Maintenance Quality Standards (MQS). Street classification and level of service dictates within which cycle time the road will be plowed. Generally, a full operation takes approximately 8 to 10 hours when activated. It can take longer occasionally due to equipment break down, intensity of the storm, vehicle on street parking or the need to return to priority streets. Once snow operations are deployed, their aim is to clear the way for you, efficiently and effectively, while working within approved MQS guidelines.
4. Why does the plow come down my side of the street first and put more snow on my side?
During a storm that generates large accumulations of snow; repetitive plow operations may be required during big storms to bring the street to satisfactory condition. If the municipality waits too long to commence plowing operations, you will be restricted in your ability to use the roadway network. What you may also be seeing is a first pass by grader or dump truck with front plow and a wing plow. This equipment does the major plowing. This is often followed up towards the end of a storm with a sander / salter truck which has a plow used to clear small amount of snow to make sanding / salting more effective.
5. Can plows minimize the amount of snow left at the bottom of my driveway?
The priority of our work crews is clearing the travelled portion of the road. The only place to move the snow is onto the boulevard, which includes driveways. As a result, snow left at the bottom of driveways is unavoidable.
6. Why is there so much noise at night from your operations?
Depending on the time of the storm event, the municipality has no choice but to carry out overnight operations. Night time operations are generally more efficient and ensure road network is ready for morning rush hour.
7. After the plow goes by my residence, my driveway gets longer.
As winter progresses, the width of the snow banks sometimes encroach further onto the roadway. Snow banks are pushed or blown away when the width of roadway pavement become significantly reduced.
8. I live on a corner and I always get more snow from your plows than other on my street.
Plow operators try as best as possible to equally distribute the snow by plowing the snow away from corner driveway entrances. A street corner typically receives more snow on the side and front of yard as two roadways meet generating more snow in a limited area.
9. Why are snow removal crews working when it is not snowing?
Snow removal involves much more than simply plowing roads when there is a storm. Crews must also remove the snow so that it does not impede with regular traffic, pedestrian, etc.
Removal or reduction of snow banks is carried out when snow banks restrict sightlines, travel widths, pedestrian, etc. traffic or to relieve trapped water on the roadway or sidewalk and to create storage space for future snowfall.
10. Why do I see snow plows going down my street scraping roads when there isn't that much snow on the road?
As winter weather conditions fluctuate, we try to take advantage of milder temperature to return residential roads to bare pavement while limiting salt usage. Although the Council approved MQS standards indicate residential roads are maintained at "snow packed" standard, in the early winter, we try and take advantage of the mild overnight temperature to remove the ruts which have already formed on the snow packed surface. This allows for a better surface to clear in the upcoming winter months. In addition, the clearing operation assists in keeping catch basins open to avoid flooding. If weather permits, we push snow banks back to curbs to provide more driving width on the roadway and storage place for snow along residential streets. In the long term, this may also help in reducing the cost of snow removal.
11. The municipality's snow operations equipment damaged my lawn. What can I do?
Unfortunately, during winter maintenance operations, municipal equipment causes lawn damage. If damage occurs, please contact the Public Works Department at 705-753-0952 or e-mail us at
. Crews are deployed early in the spring to investigate and repair appropriate damaged areas by using topsoil and seed.
12. Why does the municipality only clear certain roadside ditches of snow in the spring?
Roadside ditches are cleared at the outlet end of the ditch system to provide positive drainage for the spring melt. Municipal crews prioritize know critical areas and attempt to minimize the risk of flooding. The clearing operations are not designed to drain all ditches of spring melt water.
13. What to do if your mailbox is damaged by the snow plow?
The municipality will replace a damaged mailbox if the damage is deemed to result from a direct hit by plow equipment. Mailboxes damaged by snow load off the plow equipment will not be replaced by the municipality. Should your mailbox be damaged, please contact the Public Works office at 705-753-0952 or e-mail
. An inspection and assessment will be made by the respective Working Foreman and reported to the Director.
14. Who do I call to report a street that has not been cleared?
It is important to remember that the municipality/s first priority is keeping the main roads clear. Please be patient. Town crews will get to your road as soon as possible.
15. Why is it prohibited to park on the street during a snowstorm?
Parked vehicles can prevent snow removal crews from clearing the roads in a timely and efficient manner. Vehicles obstructing snow clearing operations are subject to a fine and may be towed at the owner's expense.
16. What can I do to help snow removal crews keep streets safe and clear?
The following safety tips will help us keep roads clear of snow and safe for drivers and pedestrians:
- Keep children informed about winter road safety. Avoid digging tunnels near roads or in snow banks, as cars and snowplows can come by at any moment.
- Walk on sidewalks if possible. If this is not possible, walk against the traffic on the side of the road. Wear reflective clothes at night.
- Remove any ornaments or decorations placed near the street, as they could be damaged by snow removal activities.
17. Do you sand and salt roads?
All roads are maintained in snow packed condition. We use a sand/salt mixture in areas that are hazardous i.e. hills, curves, intersections and railway crossings.
18. What are the Spring Street Sweeping priorities?
Spring street sweeping commences between May 1st and May 31st, weather permitting. The Downtown core and main streets are completed first. Street sweeping priorities are based on the volumes of traffic on roadways where winter road sand may generate excessive dust.
Once all the snow and ice has melted from the road shoulders and curbs, the Spring Sweeping Program is started.
19. How do I report problems with traffic devices such as street signs, traffic lights, crosswalks, etc.?
Please contact the Public Works Department at 705-753-0952 or e-mail
. You may also call the Dispatch number at 705-753-1170 for after hours and weekends.
20. What is the procedure for requesting tree trimming or removal of trees on municipal property?
The municipality has many trees in and adjacent to road allowance. Their maintenance requires a great deal of staff time and is a significant expense in the Public Works budget. Tree conditions are constantly monitored to prioritize maintenance and /or removal. Being environmentally conscious, we appreciate the benefit of trees towards our quality of life. Please contact the Manager of Public Works about any trees that you would like municipal staff to assess.
21. Who do I contact for a new road entrance?
For the installation of a new road entrance, please contact the Manager of Public Works at 705-753-0952.
22. My property is on a private road that receives no road services, will the municipality assume the road and provide service?
The municipality has a policy that a road will not be assumed until it is constructed to a municipal standard that allows for the safe use of the road by the public and by our municipal roads equipment. In addition to this, the Council will also consider if the road serves a public interest, and if the future tax revenue justifies the ongoing road maintenance cost. A request for this is initiated by writing a letter to Council describing the road and from this; Council will usually direct staff to prepare a report that addresses all of the issues/concerns.
23. If I see road damage, a tree blocking the road, etc., how do I report it?
For after hours and weekends, you can contact Dispatch at 705-753-1170.
24. Beavers are causing flooding of my property, will you respond?
We do not respond to flooding on private property unless the beaver has built a dam or other obstacle on a municipal property that is the cause of your flooding.
25. Our driveway has washed out, will you fix it?
We will fix your driveway entrance if the washout is caused by water running down or off our road surface. If the water ran off of your property and caused the damage, it is up to you to do the repair.
26. I have property on a seasonal maintained road, when do you do this service so I can access my property as soon as possible in the Spring?
The seasonal maintenance starts when the roads dry out sufficiently for our equipment to go in and do basic repairs (fix washouts, minor grading, etc.) without causing road damage. When the roads are wet and the frost is coming out of the road bed, we cannot do any maintenance. So the answer to this question will depend upon Mother Nature, in how much snow is on the ground in the spring, how much rain we receive, how the spring thaw develops, overnight freezing.
Street sweeping is beneficial for:
- Cleaning up sand debris that accumulates over the winter season
- Preventing materials from clogging the storm sewers
- Safe and clean driving surface