Kelowna is sliding close to the line on its snow removal budget for the year.
So far the city has spent $2 million of the $2.185 million set aside for 2022. Infrastructure Operations Manager Geert Bos told council at its Nov. 28 meeting that the average annual overage for the past 10 years has been $200,000.
Bos’ report noted increased budget pressures such as new road inventory, community demand, and material costs as some of the reasons.
Other challenges include maximum allowable working hours per week, which are governed by the national safety code (the same as truck drivers) and not BC’s employment standards.
Working hours are restricted to 70 hours per week with a minimum 36-hour rest period. This maximum allowable service becomes an issue during prolonged winter storm events such as the December 2021/January 2022 storm period, the report reads.
Bos said a new snow removal dashboard is now being used by his department.
“That will for each of the snow events will allow staff to determine the service level adherence,” he added. “We can actually demonstrate to the decimal how many routes were visited within allotted timelines.”
City crews and contractors look after 1,800 kilometres of road, 440 km of sidewalks, 390 km of bike lanes, and 40 km of multi-use corridors throughout the city.