ANTIGONISH: The winter storm that tore through the region last month walloped the Town of Antigonish leading to continuing clean-up efforts.
At the regular monthly town council meeting on Feb. 23, senior officials said 40 centimetres of snow fell in the town during the first real winter storm on Feb. 7-8.
Following the meeting, the town’s chief administrative officer (CAO) said he was very pleased with how the town’s public works team responded, and in addition to the 40 centimetres of snow delivered in one storm, there were other storms that brought snow, wind, rain and freezing rain.”
“For most of the period between when the storm hit and now, the crew was down two important pieces of snow removal equipment – the large blower that mounts on the loader and a sidewalk machine,” Jeff Lawrence told The Reporter. “The crew had to repair three water breaks during that period, so to say they were busy would be an understatement.”
He advised the storm dealt quite the blow to the town’s winter maintenance budget.
“I do not have the exact numbers yet, but according to the department, the last two weeks have seen about the same amount of the snow removal budget used as was used in the previous two months,” Lawrence said. “This winter has been quite mild up until now, compared to previous winters.”
And that milder winter is something that has kept the town in reasonable shape for the remainder of winter, as far as the salting, snow clearing and snow removal budgets go, he said.
A storm like the one last month, Lawrence explained, had the public works department is operating 16 hours a day, basically seven days a week.
“The town has a small public works crew with a total of five employees to deploy when at full strength. They are responsible for clearing 52 kilometres of road travel lanes, 24 kilometres of sidewalks and seven parking lots,” he said. “When looking after this amount of infrastructure, fatigue is always a concern as is the availability of the work force and equipment.”
As needed, snow removal continues throughout the town’s commercial areas and the downtown core.