Sidewalk snow clearing: 12 hours equals $240,000

In this Dec. 2012 file photo, snowbanks line Second Street West in Cornwall after a snowstorm. (Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – The city’s budget committee has heard it would cost around a quarter million dollars to improve sidewalk clearing after a storm by half a day.

The public works division manager gave the committee an update, following a request yesterday from Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy on improving the level of service.

The city has a half dozen machines to clear the city’s 188 kilometers of sidewalks. At a machine speed of one kilometer an hour, Bill de Wit said it takes about 36 hours to clear them all after a major storm.

In order to shave 12 hours off that time, it would cost around $240,000.

That would include $35,000 to buy two more machines, $69,000 to have two employees drive the machine (2,100 man hours) and $90,000 to maintain the machines.

“As new subdivisions come on, that number (to clear all sidewalks) is going to get larger,” Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy said.

He suggested bringing the clearing time down to 30 hours after a storm would expand to the now-36 hours level of service as more sidewalks are added to subdivisions.

While the budget committee has talked about it, nothing will be done until 2017.