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le Mercredi 12 février 2020 21:27 Autres - Others

Clarence-Rockland pushes ahead with snow dump project

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The latest snow storm to blow over Eastern Ontario served as a reminder that the City of Clarence-Rockland needs a new snow dump for its winter street-cleaning program.

“We’ve laid out a strategy,” said Julian Lenhart, Clarence-Rockland’s infrastructure and planning director. “For this winter, we’re okay.”

Council members reviewed a detailed report from administration on the snow dump situation during their February 3 committee of the whole session. The report recommended retaining Stantec Consulting Ltd., to work with the infrastructure and planning department on the first phase of a four-phase plan for setting the municipality up with a new snow dump operation. Stantec has past experience with reviewing and evaluating Clarence-Rockland’s snow removal needs for its winter street maintenance program.

“There is still a lot to determine,” said Lenhart, who expressed optimism about getting the project completed within a reasonable time. “This is going to be a long-term strategy.”

Snow removal needs

Clarence-Rockland has two snow dump sites right now for its winter street-cleaning operation. The site located in the Rockland Industrial Park handles all the snow cleared off streets and sidewalks in Rockland and nearby areas. The other site at the Bourget landfill serves the snow removal needs for the five villages within Clarence-Rockland.

Both sites were set up as temporary locations while the City worked on a long-term plan for a permanent snow dump setup. Currently, the Rockland dump site is close to capacity. It may be able to handle snow removal needs for the town for another three or four years before it must shut down.

The Ministry of Environment is concerned that the Bourget site may have a problem with leakage into the underground water table, because the landfill is serving as both a garbage dump and a snow dump. The ministry has not yet issued a formal Order of Closure to the City on the Bourget dump site, but officials have asked that the city stop using it for a snow dump.

The municipal planning department is looking at a four-phase strategy to deal with Clarence-Rockland’s snow dump needs. First phase is a complete review of Clarence-Rockland’s snow removal situation, including details on the past decade of snowfall in the area, the number of new roads built over the past few years, and projections on snow removal needs based on future road development.

One thing, Lenhart noted, is that the first phase will determine whether a single central dump site will meet the municipality’s needs or if Clarence-Rockland should continue with two separate disposal sites. The other three phases of the strategy will deal with site selection, snow dump setup design, and then construction of the permanent snow dump and closure and decommissioning of the temporary ones.