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Red Deer County News

Posted on: February 10, 2020

County reminds property owners of rules to follow when clearing snow

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County reminds property owners of rules to follow when clearing snow

Local businesses and homeowners are reminded to keep snow off of County ditches when clearing from parking lots, driveways etc. This is particularly crucial in business and industrial parks where multiple parking lots all share the same drainage area.

When clearing snow from parking lots and driveways, ratepayers should keep the snow contained within their properties or have it trucked away. Some reasons for this practice include:

  • When clearing snow from private property into County ditches, culverts can easily become plugged with snow and ice. A plugged culvert will likely need to be steamed in the spring due to the freezing and thawing that occurs. Not only does this cause water to build up in drainage pathways, it also damages the underlying base of the road. This is especially harmful during fast melts in a warmer than normal spring.
  • When businesses and home owners clear snow into the ditch opposite their properties, driving hazards can be created from the ridges left behind when moving the snow across the road.
  • Likewise, when piling snow in the ditches to the left and right of a property, sight line issues can be created, as motorists cannot see oncoming traffic due to the piles of snow.

Large volumes of snow piled into ditches can cause many issues - from drainage problems, to motorist safety, to damage of public and private property. All of these issues end up costing taxpayers through increased road maintenance. Frozen culverts can even require power being shut off to areas because of water accumulating around power boxes.

According to Road Protection and Traffic Control Bylaw No. 2011/38:

4.1      No person shall do any act that is likely to cause or does damage to one or more of the following:

            (a)     a highway,

            (b)     a culvert,

            (c)     a bridge,

            (d)     any public property, or

            (e)     any private property permitted by the County to be situated within a highway or road allowance.

The weather in our County poses many challenges, and the Red Deer County Operations department is prepared to meet those challenges head on. That said, by keeping snow out of public spaces, the winter season can be easier on businesses, motorists, and County ratepayers.

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