Halifax resident fighting city over snow plow damage

A Halifax resident is still trying to get the city to fix a retaining wall that was damaged this winter by a sidewalk snow plow.

Michael Smith's retaining wall near his driveway crumbled after being hit by a plow

Michael Smith says city contractors have yet to fix his retaining wall, which was damaged by a snow plow. (CBC)

A Halifax resident is still trying to get the city to fix a retaining wall that was damaged this winter by a sidewalk snow plow.

City contractors knocked into the wall while they were clearing the snow in front of Michael Smith's property back in March.

Halifax fielded close to 1,500 calls reporting property damage by snow-clearing crews in 2014, nearly triple from last winter. (CBC)

Smith says he followed the proper procedures to report the damage to the city.

"They said the work would be completed in the spring. And then I've called every month since, you know, May and June, and I just keep getting deferred," said Smith.

Residents who had property damage due to city-contracted snow removal equipment were asked to call the 311 municipal line to report it. The city said properties would have repairs completed by June 1.

Pylon added in June

Smith said at his retaining wall, city workers added a pylon in June and since then, nothing. He says it’s a dangerous situation.

"I mean, you've got rocks, some the size of a shoebox here," he said. "You know, falling on the sidewalk, so I mean, maybe that's a safety concern."

Winter works superintendent Gord Hayward said city crews have been working since the spring to fix damaged properties. But calls about property damage by private contractors are passed on to them to make their own repairs, at the contractor’s expense.

Smith said city workers added a pylon beside his retaining wall in June and since then, nothing. (CBC)

"The city would go inspect that and if it's an unacceptable repair or an incomplete repair or in this case not even done, so that we can take the lead with the contractor," said Hayward.

Hayward said he has looked into Smith's case and that repair should now be fast-tracked.

As for other properties that remain damaged from sidewalk snow plows, Hayward said the city is now down to less than 100 cases. At one point there were 1,500 complaints registered with the city.

An end-of-season report tabled at Halifax Regional Council last week said given the ongoing concerns surrounding the new performance-based sidewalk contracts, HRM legal staff were consulted "regarding the implications of potentially suspending the service and/or cancelling the contracts."

However they found they did not have sufficient grounds to support any termination of the contracts.