An updated snow clearing plan is now in place for the town.
Approved by Ponoka town council at its meeting Nov. 13, the revisions include removing snow down to pavement as well as continuing to work on a list of equipment and contractors.
The plan, which will now be reviewed annually, will see public works staff also monitor snow and ice melt in many areas to ensure nothing builds up and no flood occurs.
Chris McKenna, town manager of operations, explained the reasoning to take as much of the snow and ice off the roads.
“The goal of this snow removal policy, by taking it down to the pavement, is to provide a greater level of safety and to enhance the melting process,” he said.
As for contracting out, all contractors will now need to provide current rates for their equipment as well as show the town proof that they have the proper insurance before being hired.
Also, some slight adjustments were made to the priority clearing map to allow for the change in the location of the Ponoka County East District Fire Hall.
There was no change made to the guidelines as to when the town starts plowing — normal practice will continue to be when 10 cm or more snow has accumulated on the roadway.
Council sided with the manager of the Ponoka Community Market — Debbie Lamey — and will earmark most of the money taken in lieu of rental of the Kinsmen Community Centre as a donation toward a community project.
Wes Amendt, director of community services, explained the situation, while Lamey also spoke to council about the issue — noting how extravagant the rental charges are and the whole purpose of creating the market.
“We just can’t keep the market going if you are going to charge us that much, we will have to find another place,” Lamey stated. “What we wanted to do is do something good and donate the money (from table rentals). It’s a beautiful hall, but there is nothing here.”
That said, the town will be taking out the cost of the janitors just over $800, but is also waiving the fees — about $300 — charged for advertising the market on its electronic sign. Lamey and the town donated close to $5,900 to PARCS.
Since the town is still looking at the possibility of selling off the Kinsmen Community Centre, council passed a motion that would see the town look at potential options for hosting the market should that happen.