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Councillors still fielding snow plow complaints

Five days after a major snowfall, Mountain politicians are still fielding complaints from residents whose streets have not been plowed.

The Boxing Day storm dumped up to 15 centimetres (six inches) of snow on the area. While main roads were quickly cleaned, many sideroads did not get plowed for more than 24 hours — or not at all.

“People are very upset,” said Coun. Scot Duvall (Ward 7, central Mountain). There are a lot of complaints.”

Duvall and fellow Mountain councillors Tom Jackson and Terry Whitehead along with Coun. Chad Collins (Ward 5) are meeting with roads department staff Wednesday.

Along with complaints that some streets have been missed, there have also been residents of courts and crescents who are upset plows made only a single pass — leaving 10 to 20 feet of unplowed snow on the road from the end of some driveways — or that snow was piled up on sidewalks and not removed.

Where roads haven’t been cleared, icy ruts have formed, said Duvall.

The situation was compounded by more snow Saturday.

Environment Canada says there is a 60 per cent chance of flurries tonight, but no significant snow accumulation.

“I have formally requested staff to provide a report to council as to the reasons for why so many streets have not received adequate snow removal service in reasonable time frame,” Whitehead said in a press release Sunday, “and to provide a resolution to ensure this poor response will not happen again.”

Gerry Davis, general manager of public works, told the Hamilton Spectator Sunday he has assigned two city managers to investigate “why some streets are done and others not.”

He said in an email the managers will be providing updates when they return to work and outline “issues with missed segments and who is providing service (internal/external forces).”

The city has a plow force that consists of 110 municipal machines and another 330 contracted machines.

Duvall said the city workers are generally responsible for the arterial roads, while contractors handle many of the side streets.

“We’re trying to find out what is happening, they there are all these misses on some side streets,” he said.

Duvall said anyone who has a complaint about roads should call the city at 905-546-CITY. If they do not feel their problem is dealt with satisfactorily, they should then contact their councillor.

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