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Charlottetown gives itself passing grade for snow removal

The City of Charlottetown has been using some extra muscle to deal with snow this year, spending almost a million dollars on new equipment and another million to recruit some new partners to help with snow removal.

'It would be better for everybody if they can come up with a different process' says business owner

Charlottetown's new snow clearing equipment is getting a workout after a weekend storm. (CBC)

The City of Charlottetown has been using some extra muscle to deal with snow this year, spending almost a million dollars on new equipment and another million to recruit some new partners to help with snow removal. 

The city — and the entire province — took a walloping last winter, trying to remove a record amount of snow. 

The city's first big test of its new snow clearing capabilities was this past weekend's major storm.

"I think on that event it's fairly good," said Paul Johnston, manager of Charlottetown's public works.

Joseph Dow of Dow's Fashions in Charlottetown was not impressed with the city's snow-clearing job Saturday morning. (CBC)

"It's difficult to be comparative in these things when there's no snow on the ground."

But not everyone felt that way. Some businesses in downtown Charlottetown said they arrived Saturday to find plows had pushed all the snow from the street into parking spots.

"The parking spots are jammed with snow and people are parallel parked, which is dangerous, and makes the downtown especially congested," said Joseph Dow from Dow's Fashions. 

"It would be better for everybody if they can come up with a different process."

While the snow is falling the priority is clearing streets to make it safe to travel, said Johnston. 

After the snow stops the plows do one more pass, then crews begin hauling away the snow.

For the downtown to be cleared by morning, the snow removal has to start by about 10 p.m. and Johnston said that wasn't possible this past weekend.

One of the contractors working for the city this winter is the P.E.I. government.

It signed a seven-year deal with Charlottetown and has also spent millions on new equipment.

With files from Kerry Campbell

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