Lethbridge's Mayor says if the city was to add residential plowing to annual snow removal efforts, it would likely result in a 4% tax increase just to cover the cost.
Many residents have been asking why the City of Lethbridge doesn't include residential in its annual snow clearing work, at least in big snowfall winters like the one we've just had. Mayor Chris Spearman tells our radio station the cost would be substantial and would have a major impact the snow removal and ice control budget. He says it would cost roughly $5 million dollars extra to do residential streets, on top of the roughly $4.5 million snow clearing and ice control budget the city has now each calendar year. He says in order to make that happen, it would equate to a tax increase of about 4%. The Mayor also notes some other issues would arise. He says in order to deal with the volume of residential streets, the city would no longer windrow snow on priority routes and there would also be no parking allowed on residential streets if the city were to plow them. Spearman says snow would have to be pushed to the sides, meaning it would block sidewalks and driveways. Just this winter season, the City of Lethbridge has spent $5 million on snow removal and ice control between December and February. - Pat Siedlecki