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Delta ready for winter challenges

Snow and ice removal polices refined for season ahead

Delta has fine tuned its winter preparedness program in anticipation of extreme weather conditions.

Engineering director Steven Lan updated civic politicians last week on changes to the snow and ice removal policies in anticipation of a cooler and wetter than normal winter.

Noting the plan is refined every year, he said the engineering department is "ready" for extreme winter conditions. Lan said the works yard has a total of 2,000 metric tonnes of salt, while an agreement has been secured with Mainroad Contracting Ltd. to guarantee an additional 1,440 metric tonnes.

A night shift salt truck driver, who was first used last year, will be back again, seven days a week, to help reduce the response times of snow and ice control. Those drivers will be available until next March.

This year, five new drivers have been added who are trained and certified in snow and ice control removal.

Also this year, municipal snow and ice control maps have been modified to add a number of routes to "Priority 1," including areas near the Boundary Bay Airport and McKee Seniors' Recreation Centre.

Delta's brine truck, which holds 7,000 lites of a salt and water solution, will be available to "prewet" the priority routes in anticipation of heavy snow or icy conditions. The solution helps melt snow.

Ladner's downtown core will also have the solution on the roads after local businesses expressed concerns about plows pushing piles of snow onto the sides of roads, which eliminated parking.

Lan said engineering staff have been refreshed on snow and ice control procedures and have been trained on snow clearing equipment.

The Winter Road Conditions phone line (604-952-3820) will provide a voice message every four hours with the current weather situation and Delta's response levels. That information will also be available on Delta's website.

The Snow Angels program will also be back, assisting seniors and those with physical disabilities who need help with driveway and sidewalk clearing. The Kennedy Seniors' Recreation Centre (604-594-2717) in North Delta and the McKee Seniors' Recreation Centre (604-946-1411) in Ladner coordinate a list of community volunteers. Delta staff will help with volunteer recruitment.

Delta's snow and ice control budget for the fiscal year is set at $321,500.

sgyarmati@delta-optimist.com