Less salt use expected for 2017 winter in Cornwall

In this February 2014 file photo, a snowplow heads up Cotton Mill St. in Cornwall. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The division manager for Cornwall’s municipal works department says the city had a “moderate” winter last year and has scaled back its budget based on a three year average of winters in the Seaway City.

That’s leading the department to pull back on its spending for 2017 on winter roads by just over $2,546 or 0.10 per cent of the winter control operating budget.

Part of that reduction is a decrease of $9,150 to the purchase of goods, namely salt for spreading on the city’s 135 kilometers of paved roads and 170 kilometers of sidewalks.

The total budgeted in 2017 for salt, brine and other materials is $637,600.

The city also uses a liquid brine, which is sprayed on the salt as it comes off the snowplow, allowing the salt to do its job more effectively.

Municipal Works Division Manager Bill de Wit told the budget committee Wednesday they will “always meet the minimum standard.”

Coun. Bernadette Clement asked about reserve funds for winter street clearing.

CFO Tracey Bailey said the city has $300,000 in a contingency account for surprise winter storms, which she characterized as “fair”.

The city budgets for 55 winter “events”, such as snowstorms, freezing rain, blowing snow and frost. The plan also takes into account four “major snow removal operations.”