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The Town of Slave Lake has heard clearly from residents that they would like more opportunities to provide feedback on key issues for the Town including Snow Removal. Mayor and Council are currently searching to find the appropriate balance of ensuring the Town provides the snow removal service that residents expect while keeping potential tax increases low. Mayor and Council would like to hear from you on what you think the level of snow removal service should be.
Currently, the Town of Slave Lake snow clearing program is based on a Priority system with the downtown core being the only area where snow is removed by trucking and deposited at our snow dump. Under this system, Priority 1 routes are cleared first after a snow event with Priority 2, 3, and 4 routes following. If there is another snow event while crews are clearing lower priority routes, the system resets and crews start on Priority 1 routes again before returning to lower priority routes. Please click on the following link to view the Snow Removal Priority Map: Snow Removal Map 36x45 (slavelake.ca)
Outside of the downtown core area snow is cleared and stored on one side of the road with the sides switching every year based on an even or odd year system. Please click on the following link to view the Snow Storage Map: Snow Storage Map 36x45 (slavelake.ca)
Updates regarding snow clearing can be found on the Snow Removal Forecast page: Snow Removal Forecast (slavelake.ca)
On January 10, 2023 the Operations department ran a test of a new possible service level for snow removal in the NW quadrant of the community. This increased service level sees a complete removal of snow from streets (via snowblower and truck haul) vs. the snow clearing strategy currently employed by the Town.
Based on the pilot test program, it is anticipated that a full snow removal clearing could be completed as follows:
Note: This potential snow removal service level change and subsequent cost estimates are based off the plan that the Town would complete 4 snow clearing events town wide per winter season. Outside of these events, only priority 1,2, and 3 roads would receive grading until a snow clearing event it scheduled/called. Any additional snow clearing events would require further adjustment to the annual operating budget.
The following summarizes the potential resource changes required to increase service levels from snow clearing to snow removal:
The following are two options for consideration for snow removal:
The following summarizes what a service level change to complete snow removal would potentially mean for property taxes to residents. This potential increase would be in addition to the regular annual tax increase, which is currently projected at 4.5% for 2023 and for 2024. The following spreadsheet lists the estimated impact to residential taxes based on 3 potential assessment levels, $200k, $306k, and $550k.
Based on the information and context above, please provide your comments on whether you think the Town of Slave Lake should initiate an increase in service level from snow clearing to snow removal. All responses will be kept confidential and will not be shared externally.
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