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Snow Removal: Roads and Sidewalks

After the plow goes by my residence, my driveway gets longer. Why is that?

As winter progresses, the width of the snow banks sometimes encroaches further onto the roadway. Snow banks are pushed or blown away when the width of roadway pavement becomes significantly reduced.

Can the plow 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.

Do you sand and salt roads?

All roads are maintained in snow packed conditions. We use a sand/salt mixture in areas that are hazardous. This includes hills, curves, intersections and railway crossings.

How is it determined what road or sidewalk is plowed first?

The Municipality determines snow and ice removal priorities by following Provincial legislation (Municipal Act, Ontario Regulation 239/02, Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways). These standards identify the regulations involving response time, snow accumulation, and icy conditions for the various road classifications and sidewalks.

A full operation takes approximately eight to 10 hours when activated. It could take longer due to an equipment breakdown, intensity of the storm, vehicles 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.

I live on a corner and I always get more snow from your plows than others on my street. Why is that?

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 yards as two roadways meet, generating more snow in a limited space.

My mailbox was damaged by the snow plows. What can I do?

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 by a direct hit, please contact the Municipal Office at 705-753-2250. An inspection and assessment will be made.

The Municipality’s snow operations equipment damaged my lawn. What can I do?

Unfortunately, during winter maintenance operations, municipal equipment may cause lawn damage. If damage occurs, please contact the Municipal Office at 705-753-2250. Crews are deployed in early spring to investigate and repair appropriate damaged areas by using topsoil and seed when warranted.

How do I 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.

Why are snow removal crews working when it is not snowing?

Snow removal involves much more than plowing roads when there is a storm. Crews must also remove the snow so that it does not impede with regular vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Removal or reduction of snow banks is carried out when snow banks restrict sightlines, travel widths, and traffic, or to relieve trapped water on the roadway or sidewalk, or to create storage space for future snowfall.

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 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.

Why do I see snow plows going down my street scraping roads when there isn’t much snow?

As winter conditions fluctuate, we try to take advantage of milder temperatures to return residential roads to bare pavement while limiting salt usage. We also try to remove the ruts which may have formed on snow packed surfaces to allow for a better surface to clear during storms. 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.

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 critical areas and attempt to minimize the risk of flooding. The clearing operations are not designed to drain all ditches of spring melt water.

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. What you may be seeing is a first pass by a plow to do the major plowing, then followed by a sander/salter truck that clears smaller amounts of snow.

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.

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 networks are ready for morning rush hour.

Ditches

Can I fill a ditch beside my property myself?

The Public Works Department does not give authorization for the filling of any portion of an open ditch storm drainage system by any abutting property owner or other individual. The Department retains the right to remove any such filling or alteration on the municipal owned right-of-way as time and conditions warrant assuring proper storm flows and such work may be billed to the property owned abutting the said right-of-way.

Flooding

For Municipal-wide flooding emergencies updates, please look to our News and Notices page for updates.

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 causing your flooding.

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 your property and caused the damage, it is up to you to do the repair.

Reporting

How do I report problems with traffic devices, such as street signs, traffic lights and crosswalks?

Please contact the Municipal Office at 705-753-2250. For after hours or on weekends, please call 705-753-1170.

If I see road damage, like a fallen tree blocking the road, how do I report it?

Please contact the Municipal Office at 705-753-2250. For after hours or on weekends, please call 705-753-1170.

Roads and Driveway Entrances

I’d like to move or create a new culvert on my property. What do I need to do?

Property owners wishing to construct, install, relocate, excavate, remove or reset an entrance culvert to access their property must first obtain a private entrance permit from our Public Works Department to authorize such work. A Private Entrance Application form must be completed and submitted to the Planning Department.

Municipal staff will determine the appropriate culvert dimensions and grades, and indicate if there are any problems with the location. Culvert installation will be carried out by municipally approved contractors, noting that municipal staff will continue to conduct the required inspections.

For more information, please refer to By-law 2017/39.

Who do I contact for a new road entrance?

For the installation of a new road entrance, please contact the Municipal Office at 705-753-2250.

Tree Maintenance

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. Tree conditions are constantly monitored to prioritized maintenance and/or removal. Being environmentally conscious, we appreciate the benefit of trees towards our quality of life. Please contact Public Works about any trees that you would like municipal staff to assess.

Service on Private Properties

My property is on a private road that receives no road services. Will the Municipality assume the road and provide service?

The Municipality will not assume a road 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. Council will also consider if the road serves a public interest, and if the future tax revenue justifies ongoing maintenance costs. A request for this is initiated by writing a letter to Council describing the road.

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