Halifax’s bobcats cleared more than just snow off the sidewalks this past winter, but officials say it could take until June or even later to fix all the damage.
With the snow finally gone homeowners around Halifax are seeing the damage left behind by winter. Residents are complaining the bobcat snowplows damaged their driveways, front steps and lawns.
“This is a mess. It's there, there, up here, down over the other side and I'm not the only one,” said Geraldine Strickland as she tidied up her mangled lawn. It’s damage she said was left after a bobcat plowed the sidewalks.
The grass is uprooted and the dirt upturned. Even some concrete steps are destroyed.
"I was shocked at the real lack of care. Like it seems like they just sort of barrelled through things,” said neighbour Harris Foley.
Darrin Natolino, superintendent for HRM Winter Works, says most of the damage is already built into the budget.
"It's safe to say that 99 per cent of this stuff will get done by June 1 and anything that trickles in past that date will be handled accordingly,” he said.
In an average year, the city plows 800 kilometres of sidewalk on the peninsula. This past winter crews cleared an extra 200 kilometres.
Natolino said expanding the city’s snow-removal plan for sidewalks this winter added challenges, such as narrow sidewalks in old neighbourhoods. He said the damage is unavoidable to keep the sidewalks clear of snow.
“We're no strangers to this, it happens every year. It's just one of the costs of doing business,” he said.
Natolino suggests any homeowners wondering when damage will be fixed on their properties should call in a report to 311.
“That will get the damage logged into our system and it will basically generate a work order and make sure someone gets out to repair it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Strickland said she hopes the city bobcats will stay off her street next winter.
"I don't want him to do this sidewalk anymore"