Nova Scotia

Halifax could save $1M if homeowners shovelled sidewalks: staff

There have been a number of complaints about the quality of the work done by contractors and the amount of damage the equipment is doing to properties.

Snow removal contracts expire this year and new ones have to be put in place for 2018

Some residents argue they could do a better job than contractors hired by the municipality to clear snow-covered sidewalks. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Halifax staff say the municipality could save $1 million if homeowners across the region were made responsible for sidewalk snow removal.

There have been a number of complaints about the quality of the work done by contractors and the amount of damage the equipment is doing to properties.

But several councillors are opposed to the move.  

"I will not be supporting that," said Coun. Russell Walker, who represents Halifax-Bedford Basin West. "I've had no calls in my district to remove it, none at all."

Contracts about to expire

Coun. Tim Outhit, who represents Bedford-Wentworth, agreed with Walker, although he does want improvement to the service.

"I do hope that you will specify a variety of new equipment," said Outhit. "Things like the snowblowers, the wedge-shaped plows, the smaller buckets."

Coun. Waye Mason, who represents Halifax South Downtown, tried to get a report on removing the sidewalk snow-clearing service in Districts 7, 8 and 9 on the Halifax peninsula, but council colleagues voted down his motion.

The issue is not going away because snow removal contracts expire this year and new ones have to be put in place for 2018.  

Officials with transportation and public works expect to come back to council this April with proposed changes.

About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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