Snow clearing in the past few weeks has far exceeded this 72 hour standard for many Township residents. Fortunately extensive and long duration power failures were not a large complicating issue as well for these unfortunate taxpaying Township residents. Many, most especially seniors, were literally stranded for in excess of 72 hours unable to leave their homes or expect any reasonable support, help or even timely emergency services if needed because their immediate tertiary roads were completely impassable in many cases because there was absolutely no snow plowing whatsoever. Not even a quick and simple single plowed lane was provided even weeks after the first major snow dump!
As a long time Township resident, I remember when Township many years ago would at least plow a quick single lane up my previous rural tertiary road when we had major snow dumps. It has never been done again in the past 10 years , EVER! How hard is it for the Township to identify these especially hardship cases and plan or even respond to their pleas for support. Obviously there is no proper process in place for these people even apparently in at least exceptional cases. Surely to goodness after two weeks any Township truck with a simple front end mounted plow or at least a private local community contractor for larger or smaller Township neighbourhoods could have been provided after 2 weeks , never mind 72 hours!
This council should make sure that those taxpayers in Langley that would, were or could be stranded in excess of 72 hours should be identified and given reasonable safe access & egress after this time at minimum. So Richter is correct to say that it is unacceptable to have residents endure this hardship when we do find it a Township priority to fund another $5 million for the Events Centre, also find an extra $3 to $5 million for the Grandstand fiasco and also find literally millions for acquiring golf courses and restaurants, not to mention selling off Township park land at bargain basement prices! See Richter’s Letter to the Editor and her notice of motion sent to the local newspapers here as published in Tuesday’s Langley Advance and Wednesday's Langley Times.
December 31, 2008
Re: Township Snow Removal Policy
The white Christmas we experienced in the Township last week raised an important public safety issue that Council needs to address immediately. It is clear that the Township’s existing snow removal policy is ineffective and insufficient on all tertiary roads in Langley Township where the majority of residents and taxpayers live.
Over the past few years, the Township has experienced more frequent and longer-lasting snow periods where residents have been snow-bound in their homes for longer than 72 hours. This is unacceptable.
Both the Province and the Country have an emergency preparedness standard of 72 hours. They have consistently told people about the need to be able to survive for 72 hours without outside help.
However, what is difficult to understand and accept is the Township’s unwillingness to plow any tertiary road - period. As we have experienced in the past week, the Township’s failure to plow tertiary roads during and following snowfalls far exceeds the provincial 72 hour emergency standard.
It has placed many Township residents at risk because they cannot easily be reached by emergency vehicles such as police and ambulance, if necessary. Furthermore, it has substantially slowed down the ability of fire trucks to access properties on tertiary roads.
This is not an acceptable or safe level of service. At minimum, all tertiary roads should be plowed to at least a single lane and sanded/salted 72 hours following a snow fall, and every 72 hours thereafter, provided tertiary roads remain impassable due to continued snow fall.
Furthermore, an emergency snow response phone line should be established so that snow-bound residents, especially those needing access to secondary and primary roads for health and employment reasons, can call in and request snow removal on their tertiary roads prior to the 72 hour parameter.
The Township’s existing snow removal policy must change. This should be considered a public safety and budget priority in 2009 and all subsequent years.
I have put forward a notice of motion requesting such policy revision. I ask all Township residents who agree with me on this to send an email to email@example.com encouraging Council’s support of the motion.
If the Township has enough money in annual budget surpluses to finance a $5 million shortfall on the Events Center, then the Township certainly has enough money to put into improved snow removal for better public safety of all residents.
Whereas the Township’s existing snow removal policy is ineffective and insufficient on all tertiary roads in the Township where the majority of Township residents and taxpayers live;
Whereas over the past few years, the Township has experienced more frequent and longer-lasting snow periods where residents have been snow-bound in their homes for longer than 72 hours;
Whereas the Province and the Country have an emergency preparedness standard of 72 hours and the Township’s failure to plow tertiary roads during and following snowfalls far exceeds this72 hour emergency standard;
Whereas failure to open tertiary roads after 72 hours places many township residents at risk because they cannot be reached by emergency vehicles such as police and ambulance, and substantially slows down the ability of fire trucks to access properties on tertiary roads;
Therefore be it resolved that the Township’s Snow Removal policy be revised and amended to include the following:
1. All tertiary roads in the Township will be plowed to at least a single lane and sanded/salted 72 hours following a snow fall; and every 72 hours thereafter provided tertiary roads remain impassable due to continued snow fall;
2. An emergency snow response phone line will be established so that snow bound residents needing access to secondary and primary roads for health and employment reasons can call in and request snow removal on their tertiary roads prior to the 72 hour parameter; and
3. Provision for this enhanced snow removal service in the Township will be considered a public safety and budget priority in 2009 and all subsequent years.
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