Council will re-evaluate the Town of Fort Macleod’s longstanding policy of clearing snow from the avenues leading to downtown.
Council received a report Jan. 27 from community peace officer Scott Donselaar advising the policy should be rescinded.
Donselaar in his report told council the Town of Fort Macleod could be held liable if someone is hurt on an avenue that has not had snow cleared.
The town’s policy is for the public works crew to clean the avenue sidewalks “as time permits.”
Donselaar explained to council there is now an expectation by property owners on the avenue that the town will clear the snow.
Those property owners are not clearing the sidewalks even when it is not done by the public works crew.
“Having a policy such as this in place thereby exposes the town as a primary party in an injury suit,” Donselaar explained in his written report.
Donselaar also noted the policy makes the Town of Fort Macleod’s approach to snow removal inconsistent.
“It affords specific residents special treatment whereby anyone residing or doing business off of a street location does not receive the same treatment, yet provides the same rate of taxes,” Donselaar wrote.
Donselaar also told council the policy makes it difficult to enforce the by-law requiring property owners to clear sidewalks following a snowfall.
The policy was adopted by the Town of Fort Macleod to make it easier for people to get downtown to shop.
“That’s been there for a long time,” Coun. Gord Wolstenholme said. “You’ll have people quite upset about it.”
After some discussion, council decided to postpone a decision until after the winter.