What is the provincial minimum maintenance standard (MMS) for sidewalk snow removal?
Any sidewalk with an accumulation of 8cm of snow (or greater) shall be cleared within 48 hours following the storm event.
What is the current status of sidewalk snow clearing in Sarnia?
The City currently clears 168 km of the 328 km of sidewalks throughout Sarnia. The response standard for sidewalk snow clearing is within 48 hours of the end of a winter event, unless an emergency declaration is made.
The current policy is outlined within By-Law 144 of 2019
What are the financial impacts to residents if the City were to increase its level of service for sidewalk snow removal?
The actual cost will be determined based on the final decision. An increased level of service will carry an increase in operating cost for the City, which would be collected through the general tax levy. A high level estimate was presented earlier to council. The proposed higher service level could increase the average annual property tax bill for a single detached home by 1% to cover the additional resources required. Winter maintenance costs vary significantly from year to year depending on the weather.
There is no sidewalk on my side of the street, would I still be responsible for the increased costs of City maintenance?
Yes, the increased operating costs are shared equally across the general tax levy.
What if I am unable to perform the required winter maintenance?
The city will look to support and expand existing community groups that provide assistance to those who are unable to keep up with their winter maintenance requirements.
Under scenario 3, will the city continue to clear 168 km of sidewalk?
No, the City will look to reduce it's current level of sidewalk snow removal to include only areas that do not have an adjacent property owner or that are City owner properties. The majority of residents will then be equally responsible for snow removal under this scenario.