During last week's committee of the whole meeting, the Town's Manager of Infrastructure Ethan Wilson discussed the possibility of investing in a formalized snow dump. This is where all the excess snow from snow clearing gets placed to melt once the weather warms up.
Wilson explained the Town owns four-quarters of land southeast of Strathmore, and three of those quarters are leased for the solar farm. The remaining quarter is used for many purposes, but in the winter it typically becomes a snow dump. While this approach has worked well for many years, Wilson said a key problem came up this year.
"This past spring we had a very rapid melt, to the point where snow was melting extremely fast and water was starting to move off the property so we had to contain that. So it's raised a lot of questions in terms of 'are the old practices the right practices?' and we feel that having a more formalized snow dump is the way forward," he said.
The Town's infrastructure team hasn't created cost estimates for this project yet, but Wilson said it may be up to $50 000. This would include consultant support and actually building/enhancing the dump itself. As for where this funding would come from, there are several possibilities, including:
- Roads Reserve
- Financial Stabilization Reserve
- CCBF (Canada Community Building Fund) or MSI/LGFF (Municipal Sustainability Initiative/Local Government Fiscal Framework) Grants. "Construction of a new/enhanced snow dump could be funded by provincial grant funding programs," a Town report read
The infrastructure team is still in the early phases of planning, so there is no set date for when this will next be discussed by council.
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