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Mississauga shovels more cash into snow-clearing program
July 26, 2019
Steve Cornwell

Mississauga’s snow clearing program has been given a $3.1-million boost.

Starting in November, winter maintenance services in Mississauga will be increased for bus stops and sidewalks on major roads, as well as around hospitals, schools and nursing homes.

The $3.1-million service-level increase was approved at a council meeting this month and will be funded over the next two years by the city’s winter maintenance reserves.

If council chooses to continue the winter maintenance increase in 2021, it could result in a 0.4 per cent overall budget increase. That would mean an extra $7.40 per year in taxes on the average residential property worth $645,000, according to a city staff report.

At the meeting, Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito moved the motion to approve increased service levels and said that encouraging people to use MiWay buses is a “moot point” if they can’t access them because of snow.

“We can’t be pushing people to leave their cars at home and use transit if we don’t make it safe for them to get to the transit stop,” she said.

Current service levels provide salting and snow removal on bus stops and priority sidewalks after servicing major roads and collector routes. According to city staff, the service increase would allow for winter maintenance on bus stops and priority sidewalks faster and “in concert” with clearing on major roadways.

Council also considered a winter-maintenance service increase for bike lanes in the city but declined to add the $2.1-million enhancement.

Bike lanes are salted and cleared of snow and ice as part of current winter maintenance on priority roads, and the increase would address reaccumulation of snow and ice in the bike lanes after initial clearing.

Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish said she couldn’t balance boosting winter maintenance of bike lanes with senior’s needs for more snow removal.

“For the number of people that actually bike in the winter in a snowstorm compared to the seniors that need to get at a bus stop or the seniors who need windrow clearance, I can’t defend bike trail (maintenance),” she said.