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Councillors want to get Cherry Valley and Milford plowed again

Athol councillor Jamie Forrester and South Marysburgh councillor Steve Ferguson are requesting a look at budgeting to get sidewalks plowed again in Cherry Valley and Milford.

Noted for high traffic and potential safety issues, council agreed to prioritize Cherry Valley and Milford in budget talks this week at Shire Hall, but are requesting a report later on costs to plow sidewalks in the County’s other rural communities.

Sidewalk snow plowing had been removed by a previous council in cost-cutting measures.

Robert McAuley, Commissioner of Engineering, Development and Works, quoted the current ‘service standards statement of policy’ that calls for ‘reasonable walking conditions in the primary urban areas of Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington and in secondary semi-urban areas’ that mention Milford, Cherry Valley, Demorestville, Hillier and Consecon.’ Rossmore is not listed. Secondary areas are to be plowed within three days after a storm.

“It’s approximately $900 to $1,000 per event per village so would be $80 to $100,000 for both Cherry Valley and Milford to be added to our budget,” said McAuley, noting he would have to finalize numbers with staff.

Councillors Ferguson and Forrester called a $100,000 season cost exorbitant.

“I’ve walked down that street and with a push behind snow plow I could probably do that in 20 minutes,” said Forrester. “I’ve had numerous residents ask about this so would like to look at ways to do some cost-savings on this. That’s a lot of money.”

Much of the County’s snow removal is contracted out now. McAuley said the County’s staff is fully committed and lost an operator this year due to medical issues.

The rural areas in Prince Edward County very rarely ask for anything, or get anything in the budget, Forrester said. “We’re going to be taking about much bigger amounts for Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington in these budget talks.”

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  1. Marnie says:

    It is a classic example of a snow job with the taxpayer as the victim.

  2. Fred says:

    Perhaps the extreme cost for your snow removal is the fact that the weight was factored in! Lol

  3. Tim says:

    I am all for the sidewalk snow removal as previously stated.. but I would like to know how this contract is priced out… $100,000. sounds really high to me. I’d like to know how often it is required to be plowed as drifting and the road snow plows actions constantly cause issues on cleared sidewalks. So is 20 enough plows to calculate on.. or more.?? And secondly, to avoid delays for either hamlet waiting for that contracted snow removal person to be available to come plow.. One two days after as they are busy else where..? I think that the bidding could be opened up to local residents who have the means and equipment to do so. When I first moved to Cherry Valley the sidewalks were plowed with a pick up truck with a plow, I’m sure there would be many who would take on this endeavor, or a couple residents possible share the plowing so as to keep the sidewalks clean as soon as practical.. And save the taxpayers money at the same time.. ..and Chuck, how do you know who is, or is not running in the next election.? maybe their motive is to do what is right for the residents.. Marnie, does anyone really expect our taxes to remain the same, I don’t although it would be nice.. But reality says, the cost to operate a municipality will always increase.. fuel costs go up, the price of equipment etc. Thus or taxes will increase. ..a gently increase annually to make the sting a little less painful. Fred… no mater where you live in the county, each person thinks their snow is heavier… when actually mine is..!!! hahaha! All I know is that taxpayers need to be treated fairly no mater what part of the county they reside, and once again thanks to the Councillors out there working on the residents behalf. Thank you so very much..!!

  4. Chuck says:

    It was a pork item tossed in by the Athol Councillor. Securing the Valley votes with upcoming election.

  5. ADJ says:

    From the big Metropolis of Milford we hear Council has approved a $50,000 budget for sidewalk snow removal. Wow! Is this for real? I suppose a tendered sub-contractor comes to the village, truck and blower/plow ready to go, unloads and does a 30 minute bang up job, reloads and is gone until next time. How many feet of sidewalk are we talking about here? The Town hall to the Post Office, around the corner to the edge of Bond road. Wait, there is another 100 ft. from Hicks store to the Library I think and not sure about the back street by the church.
    Population being what it is and how busy the village is in winter it’s much appreciated. C’mon!!

  6. Marnie says:

    They could pay men to hand shovel the sidewalks for less than $100,000. It’s not their hard-earned money so they have fun spending it.

  7. Dan says:

    There is some wrong if it is $900 per plow for Milford and $900 per plow for cherry valley= $1800
    If you plowed them 20 times a winter it would be $36000 I think they over estimated the cost

  8. Mark says:

    They talk about $100,000 like it is pocket change. That is a huge amount of money to clear walkways in the Valley & Milford. This was raised prior to an election season and garnered support.

  9. Marnie says:

    And our taxes rise again. Of course there will always be money for another study, a new county employee, etc. Living In the county is fast becoming affordable only for the well-to-do.

  10. Paul Cole says:

    Emily you can bet that most of that $250k will go right to County staff to perform studies and provide recommendations like the Benson park right of way and washroom studies and recommendations….

  11. Chuck says:

    Gee, I sure hope the Milford snow banks aren’t huger, heavier and more compressed than Cherry Valley’s or the already crazy $100,000 cost will go out of sight!

  12. Emily says:

    $250,000 for affordable housing! Good god that wouldn’t provide 4 units. Why are we not receiving the multi millions in funding from upper government’s like Hastings County is?

  13. Gary says:

    Tax hike of 5.33%. With assessment growth taxpayers will see a 3.47% increase in taxes. And the cookie jar is empty as the CAO reports reserves are now nil!

  14. Fred says:

    Lol. It was quite a claim.

  15. Janet says:

    Dear Fred,
    Well, I am quite sure I will never be able to explain such a thing to your satisfaction. I can offer no scientific proof, legal precedents or accepted folklore to support my outrageous claims. I would be delighted to offer you the opportunity to conduct your own empirical research on the banks (if we get any) in front of my house, and then perhaps you would be able to explain it to me.
    Respectfully yours.

  16. Marnie says:

    If wishes were horses beggars would ride. Nice if all of the sidewalks in rural hamlets could be plowed but taxes are too high already. Maybe some people are too elderly to shovel but it is always possible to hire the job done.

  17. Chuck says:

    This issue comes to the forefront with election year coming. Lol

  18. Fred says:

    Could you please elaborate on how the Cherry Valley snow banks are huger,heavier and more compressed by plows than those in Picton? Never have heard of such a phenomenon.

  19. Janet says:

    I really appreciate the efforts of Councillors Jamie and Steve for bringing this forward and seeing it through. Despite appearances, Cherry Valley is a happening little spot – we have places we go to and people to see just like anyone that lives in the larger centres. When winter hits and you can’t get anywhere in your own community except by car, it can be very isolating and discouraging. People do try and clear in front of their homes, but it isn’t always possible, safe or successful. The banks are huge and heavy and compressed by the plows, more so than in town.(Yes, I used to be a townie, so I know first hand the difference). I see it as a safety issue. If you have ever had to walk on the road in Cherry Valley in the winter and been forced to scale a snowbank to safety due to a lead footed driver and a patch of black ice, you will know what I mean. I see it as a quality of life issue. It would be very nice to be able to enjoy our neighbourhood and community amenities in the winter and to be able to access them safely by foot. I also think it is a parity issue. Folks in Cherry Valley and Milford pay their taxes too, and I don’t think it is going to take the butter off anyone’s bread if we get to enjoy some sidewalk clearing. (And yes, they are actual sidewalks here, and since we got electricity, we have street lights too!)

  20. Marnie says:

    As a townie I walked to school for years and lived to tell the tale. So did a lot of other kids. Those high school kids who flock to the pizza joints every noon hour are in a lot more danger of dying from high cholesterol than from perishing in a snow drift on the sidewalk.

  21. Susan says:

    Layoff the townies. Town kids walk to school and need to do so safely. Rural kids are bussed and at townies expense I might add.

  22. Theresa says:

    Individual responsibility is “so yesterday.” There is no system in place for sidewalk snow-clearing enforcement, much like parking in no-parking zones (for over 4 months now on my street), no overnight parking on streets for winter snow clearing, poop&scoop, the list goes on. Makes no nevermind, doesn’t ever get enforced.

    Difference in town is people (including seniors and students) are walking around. Even with County clearing, sidewalks are sometimes impassable (or deadly slippery) for 24 hours+ after a storm, and there’s no hurry to clear crosswalks or traffic light crossings until after you’ve dangerously had to climb over snowbanks to get to the other side. BIG THANKS go to Owen for pedestrian safety and accessibility in the winter!

  23. Dennis Fox says:

    I support snow clearing- with an aging population like we have, it makes sense. But how can council justify the high cost for such a small job? Also how can they claim not having money for year round safety issues like speeding traffic, but can suddenly find such a large sum for a seasonal problem.

  24. Marnie says:

    No wonder our taxes are so high, Wevil. What happened to the common sense concept of expecting homeowners to clear the walks in front of their properties or hire it done? Rurally, the plows leave huge banks in front of our driveways and walkways to the roads and leave us to clear them as best we can. If we can shovel so can the townies.

  25. wevil says:

    not just downtown all over town

  26. wevil says:

    Marnie sidewalks in (downtown) Picton are plowed by the County

  27. Tim says:

    I think the return of sidewalk snow removal th Cherry Valley is a long overdue item, even though a County roads employee told me a couple winters ago that Cherry Valley has NEVER had side walk snow removal. Which is an untruth. There is plenty of foot traffic that I witness every day in front of our home in the heart of Cherry Valley. We have plenty of residents who walk to the community mail boxes, and walk just for exercise and walking on the roads here is not a safe activity as the local traffic never appears to be driving at an appropriate speed.
    I welcome the removal of sidewalk snow as I am tired of attempting to keep a stretch in front of several homes clean with my little snowblower, especially when twice I was struck by snow from a passing snow plow once collapsing the snowbank onto me and my small tractor blower and the second time it nearly knocked me off my tractor and that event was witnessed by a neighbor who couldn’t believe that it just happened.
    If it returns it must not be an extension of the plow truck efforts to push as much snow onto our property. There is no room on our property and this extra snow causes damage to our property. In the past snow has been pushed onto my lawn, up against the house even breaking windows which were never replaced by the County. So if we do it, it has to be done right.
    My thanks to Councillors Jamie Forrester and Steve Ferguson
    for addressing this issue. And I look for support in this issue from the remaining Councillors and Mayor.

  28. Marnie says:

    Town residents shovel their own sidewalks. Why can’t the residents of Milford and Cherry Valley do the same?

  29. Dennis Fox says:

    If Council can find $100,000 for snow removal on a short length of side walk – WHY was I recently told that there was no money in this year’s budget for digital speed sign? Just a week ago the police were involved with a guy that went through Northport going 120kph in a 50 zone! It seems that safety concerns are reacted to by those councillors who yell the loudest. Are the public being well served?

  30. Chris Keen says:

    Taxpayers are being seriously ripped off if it’s going to cost $100,000 to clear less than 100 meters of “sidewalk” in Milford and Cherry Valley. Something stinks!!

  31. Fred says:

    What, you don’t like tax savings? Factor in the cost of heavy equipment, unionized labour,benefits and overtime.

  32. wevil says:

    why is the snow removal contracted out the county had the equipment to do it themselves have you cut staff and equipment so bad that you can no longer do the job used to all be done with county staff and equipment

  33. Scott says:

    I’m just waiting to see the size of the bill to haul all snow from Wellington. Bloomfield. And Consecon. 2 years ago the county took all snow removed from the streets in above areas and trucks it to sandy hook. As the last 2 winters had very little snow the costs weren’t a lot. I’m waiting for a more standard winter, and then see how much money gets wasted. The fact that they haul the snow that distance is the silliest thing I have ever heard. Should cost 10 times the amount as dumping it locally. Where is the logic and common sense.

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