Thursday April 24, 2014

City establishing snow dump fees

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For the first time in Yorkton history snow removal contractors will be charged a fee to off load snow in the City’s Snow Storage Site.

Public Works Manager Trent Mandzuk said establishing a few structures was deemed necessary to help offset costs associated with establishing a new storage site.

“In the very near future, we will begin to utilize the new Snow Storage Site on4th Avenue North (just north of the Public Works yard). The new site will be more environmentally friendly with meltwater collection ditches and a two part settling pond. The site will also utilize a special blend of salt resistant grasses. The anticipated cost to construct the new Snow Storage Site is approximately $700,000,” detailed a report circulated to Council.

In addition to establishment costs Mandzuk said it was anticipated maintenance cost for this new site to be more than in the past due to the smaller site footprint necessitating occasional cat/dozer work, grass cutting, removal of siltation from the settling ponds, and general cleanup each spring.

“As a result of these expected higher maintenance costs in addition to the capitol cost to build the site, we have researched other cities to try to gain an understanding of possible revenue to offset the future costs. What we have learned is that many cities are implementing some sort of fees in an effort to recover some if not all of the additional costs. It is estimated in some cities that commercial and general public snow haulers account for up to 75 per cent of snow that is hauled into the storage site,” stated the report.

Mandzuk said they would prefer a user pay system that is based on actual usage and billed per load. For this option we would either need an automated gate/billing system or 24 hour staff on-site, but that would be almost impossible to staff the site 24 hours for the entire winter months.

In the interim we would like to recommend an annual permit system. Commercial haulers would pay one fee for access to the site during winter months throughout the calendar year. The permit fee would be based on type of vehicle, he explained.

The fees proposed ranged from $100 for a half ton in 2014, rising to $150 in 2015, to $500 for a one ton truck, rising to $700 in 2015, to $1,400 for a tri-axle semi rising to $1,500 in 2015.

Councillor Ross Fisher said he liked the idea of a policy which “helps us recover some of the costs.”

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