Kudos to snow removal crews

Our Christmas Decoration were packed up on Saturday. Most years, the decorations have been removed on New Year’s Day. We turned off the outdoor lights and suddenly Saturday night the yard seemed so much darker. The outdoor lights on homes remove the darkness of December as more lights are added each day of that month. And suddenly on Saturday as I looked down the block, it was a bleak, black night. January is always a black month although by the 31st day of the month, one begins to see the days growing longer. Winter with darkness, snow and cold is here.
I must commend the town crews who worked around the clock to clear the streets of the huge snowfall that came on December 28 and 29. When one thinks of the miles of streets and avenues in Fort Frances, it is an around the clock operation to make all the streets and alleys passable.
Fort Frances residents seem to take great pride in helping their neighbours dig out after a large snowfall. Snowblowers growled to life blowing snow from sidewalks and driveways in my neighborhood. They made passable alleys before the town’s equipment could carve a path through the banks piled high at the streets. Maybe we are showing off our snow toy, but it has been the best investment that I have made in winter. I realize that I can’t lift and throw the snow as far as I once could and with the snowblower, the banks don’t grow nearly as high. And many of my neighbors are in similar straights.
But the snow clearing has gone well. The town has cleared the banks that made travel on narrowing Scott Street lanes difficult. Various contractors who moved snow on business parking lots are now hauling those large piles away and worked through the weekend.
Snow cleanup is not a single day event. Town crews continue to clear away snow on corners to make travel safer and from the sidewalks of corners. We may complain that it appears slow, but with a small workforce and finite amount of equipment they are doing an excellent job. When I compare the snow removal in Calgary, or Winnipeg or Swift Current, where only the arterial routes and collector routes are plowed, our crews plow every street. In Calgary and Swift Current, the city may not plow those residential streets, but the residents are responsible for removing the snow from their sidewalks.
In Calgary beginning on Jan. 1 of this year, the first offense for failing to clear the sidewalk in front of your home will cost you $250. With the second offense, the fine rises to $500 and the third fine, the penalty rises to $750. The snow must be removed within 24 hours and pathways that border properties leading to parks and playgrounds also must be cleared by the adjoining homeowners.
Fort residents in some ways are spoiled by the town.

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