SD&G – Residents in remote areas of SD&G may see the level of winter service on their road change under a deal to download sections of county roads to the townships for winter maintenance.
County council heard Tuesday morning the eight contracts for winter road maintenance expired in April and it’s believed downloading makes sense for some roads instead of continuing with the status quo.
The proposed contract would cover the next five years. The downloading would only cover winter maintenance. The county would still be responsible for maintaining the road such as pavement, signage and road markings.
“Put your plow down and keep your material flowing you will get paid,” County Engineer Ben de Haan told councillors, suggesting many of the routes proposed are already travelled by municipal plows but are not being plowed.
Speaking later in an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, de Haan suggested it will save the county money on contracting out services. “Why pay a contractor to drive over that roadway and then the municipality is driving over that roadway with the plow up and material (salt and sand) not coming out of the truck? So let’s just pay them to do it.”
Over a four-year average, the county’s in-house winter maintenance costs are approximately $658 per lane kilometer while contracted plowing costs roughly $1,000 per lane kilometer.
De Haan says the townships have been consulted to make sure they have the ability to take on the additional plowing.
But drivers could notice a difference on the proposed roads because the municipal level of service would be far less than the SDG level of service. De Haan suggests the roads will fall within the level of service of many of the township roads around them.
“They’re not going to see a big difference to what they have on their roadways. It’s going to be uniform and consistent with that area. Will there be a lower level of service? Yeah, it’s going to be different because we’re out 24 hours but it’s allowable,” de Haan said.
The downloading would consist of the following roads:
- North Glengarry – portions of SDG 46, SDG 43 and SDG 30 (33 lane km total)
- South Glengarry – portions of SDG 17 (11 lane km total)
- North Stormont – portions of SDG 14 and SDG 6 (27 lane km total)
- South Stormont – portions of SDG 36 and SDG 33 (12 lane km total)
- North Dundas – portions of SDG 3, SDG 7, SDG 9 (Smith Rd.), SDG 37 and SDG 38 (20 lane km total)
- South Dundas – all of SDG 4 and portions of SDG 1 and SDG 40 (28 lane km total)
- UCLG – portions of SDG 2 and SDG 18 (18 lane km total)
The townships would receive yearly lump sum payments for their work.
The plan would save the county about $165,000 over five years, mostly through eliminating contract runs.
There was no opposition to the plan when discussed Tuesday morning by county council.
In one case in South Dundas, Mayor Evonne Delegarde told Cornwall Newswatch it makes sense considering plows drive the entire length of SDG 40 just to get to municipal roads they plow at either end of the highway.
The formal agreements will come to council next month.