Orillia Winter: ‘A tale of two cities’
Over the past few weeks and months, I have grown increasingly concerned about snow clearing throughout Orillia. This winter I frequently received emails or texts about a specific street, sidewalk, or even neighbourhood that had not been plowed. This is different from years past where an occasional complaint might come in here and there.
The reality is that this winter has been a ‘tale of two cities’ in Orillia. Ninety percent of this past winter was relatively trouble-free. The remaining ten percent of the time, has been the complete opposite. Heavy snow falls more than 3 feet high left our city at a standstill. I do credit staff for undertaking a very difficult job every season and the hard work they put into addressing it. Our council needs to support those staff with more resources.
While the past budget offers some minimal improvements, the bulk of the necessary changes are still to be discussed. Over the next few months, Council will receive a report regarding ways to improve our snow clearing service. I am going to be strongly advocating that we:
-Improve response times after major snow events
-Increase the number of plows and sidewalk plows on the road
-increase the frequency of boulevard clearing on certain problematic streets (including West Street, Coldwater Road, and Julia Crescent)
Additionally, credit is due to Councillor Lauer for bringing forward a recent inquiry that will direct staff to review the sanding and salting strategy and which will provide Council with a general review of this year’s winter controls.
Leaving this service as it is would be problematic going forward. It is essential for Orillians that we begin to take a serious look at our snow clearing operations. Whether it be a drive to work, a response to an emergency, or just going about your day, the snow on the road should never be a stress!
I do want to let everyone know: if you live in Ward 3 and are ever having a problem with snow clearing on a city road or sidewalk in the future, please reach out to me to let me know. My contact is below:
Other Council Members
I have also included the city contacts to reach out to:
You can also reach out directly to the city’s Operations Department:
AFTER HOURS: 1-705-326-4671