ESTEVAN — The City of Estevan had its first minor battle with snow in early November, and the protocols and some of the equipment that was utilized proved to be working well.
Norm Mack, roads and drainage manager with the City of Estevan's public works division, said the city kept its snow removal procedures in place for the 2022-23 winter season, as they've been working well before.
"Our snow removal protocol remains as is. Priority 1 will be first [all the main streets], two will be our collector streets, and three – residential. So that all stayed the same as far as snow removal this year," Mack said. "As far as our snow removal policy, we probably have a top-notch policy with one of the best snow removal [programs] around."
According to the city's winter road maintenance protocol, published on their website, in a minor snow event, priority 1, 2 and 3 roads will be sanded and cleaned where areas are troublesome. Sidewalks will be kept clean as required. In a major snow event, priority 1 and 2 roads will have snow pushed to the sides where possible, and graded and windrowed and hauled away to designated dump sites.
Priority 3 roads will have snow pushed to a windrow and loaded and hauled away. Priority sidewalks will be kept clear.
The street and sidewalk priority maps can be found at the city's website.
Mack also noted that when it comes to snow removal, their priorities may change throughout the day depending on weather and wind conditions.
The first snowfall of the season didn't require most of the city's equipment, but Mack said they regularly maintain it so when the need comes, it's ready.
"Our equipment is always serviced and ready to go at any moment. We do a very high maintenance program on all our snow equipment," Mack said. "The equipment is good, but we haven't brought the blowers out yet, and we've done just a small amount of grading, so it hasn't been tested yet [this season]."
With a minor snowfall, the snow removal budget remains in good shape, Mack added.
"We've spent very little of our budget up to date, except some of the days when it was icy and we put down a lot of salt and liquid salt. That's as far as it's gone for snow removal. We've gotten away lucky so far. The city of Estevan got way less snow than Regina and other points westward."
The city is also still in negotiations with the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure about the maintenance of portions of highways that fall within city limits, but Mack said the decisions will be coming out shortly. In the meantime, both parties agreed that snow on the highways in question will be removed by one of them on all occasions.