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October 27, 2017 5:24 pm

Council to Ponder Change To Snow Reserve

Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 5:59 AM

Prince George, B.C. – This evening, Mayor and council will be  looking at making a change to the  rules  for using dollars from the snow reserve  fund .

Taxpayers  pay a levy each year to cover the costs of snow removal.  If there are  dollars left over from the annual  removal efforts,  that money stays in the snow removal fund,  in the event  a future  winter dumps more than  regular funds can handle.

The bylaw which  governs that  fund, only allows for the dollars to be used for operations, but Council  will be looking to  amend that bylaw in order to cover  some capital costs related to snow removal.  At issue is  the need for  a  west bowl snow disposal site.   The City had planned to borrow  the $2.93 million dollars  needed to develop the site,   but, amending the bylaw would allow the City to use   the snow reserve  funds to cover the cost.


This is a case where we are being taxed for a specific project, ie; snow removal. The justification for the tax increase was to have a reserve for snow removal.

This money will now be used for a capital project, that under normal circumstances would require an alternative approval process, or a referendum for the City to borrow the money.

Taking the money out of the snow reserve actually takes the decision as to whether or not taxpayers approve of the borrowing and spending of this money away from taxpayers.

In other words an end run around the rules and regulations of the BC Municipalities Act. Whats to stop the City from this type of practice on future projects.

Perhaps the citizens of Prince George are not in favour of spending $2.93 million on a snow disposal site.

I believe they already dipped into the reserve fund that was designated for paving of our roads. The temptation to grab money from funds that have a purpose which is unmistakably identified for one specific purpose seems to be impossible to resist at every level of government. It should not be done in my opinion. Later when a reserve is insufficient the taxes will go up again!

    Exactly. That’s why the levy for snow removal. Now we’ll get another heavy snow winter and they’ll be after us again.

    Why does this city think they need to spend more and more every year? We certainly can’t do that as individuals.
    Please, run a more efficient and responsible organisation.

Does the City not already possess a snow dump for the “west bowl”?… 18th Ave & Foothills… There is also a great big space at CN Centre on the SE corner of the grounds that could be utilized as well.

The idea that they could use the snow levy for ANYTHING other than snow removal operations is preposterous, it was hard enough to choke down this “levy” because the City was not capable of stockpiling enough $ for extra snowfalls in the past. Is it the community’s fault that the City liquidated all of their old gravel pits years ago and is now needing to acquire new property because of a lack of forsight?

IMHO we are not witnessing “fiscal restraint” or “accountability” out of this council.

    I believe 18th and Foothills is slated for development, the SPCA on one side and the Transit maintenance facility on the other.

      The same general region, but not the same properties.

      The snow storage is to the north of 18th and the other two are on the south of 18th

Why on earth are comments closed for the Piderny Park story? Is this another “rule” that they don’t allow comments on anything related to city council? First anything native, then anything political, now anything to do with private groups approaching council for funds? Pathetic.

    This isn’t on the topic, but I will respond to this.

    I’m not a mountain biker, but I know many who are. The people coming for approval for building a new trail are required to do so as they can’t just build a trail where ever they like. They need permission to do so.

    All their time and labor for this is done by volunteers, which is all done by manual labor. They purchase all their own equipment and spend many hours of their own time clearing, repairing and maintaining the trails if not working on any of the new ones that they have built.

    They are not asking for money from council, just permission to proceed.

    Doing this isn’t free of cost for these volunteers, so if you enjoy outdoors and trails I’m sure you could donate some money to them, as they do have the cost of fuel, chainsaws, files etc. for sharpening, and other various tools and equipment necessary to do the work. They already have a few sponsors, so if anyone is willing to support their work I’m sure you could donate some money via their sponsors:
    Gustafsons Kia
    Summit Power Tools
    Custom Stitch
    PG Cycling Club
    Northvines Craft Winemaking

    (sponsors listed from @ruckuspg instagram account)

Totally agree… Snow Reserve should be kept where it is… They expecting a reversal of climate change??? Or it summer fever that they have to go spend money to create some work for a select few???

The snow fund is just that.. for snow removal..
We have a few good winters and all of a sudden there is a surplus that should not be touched.. we will get ugly winters..it happens.. if they take this money and I hear any comments along the line of… the snow removal budget is empty..then all involved with the decision should be fired.

    This is total stupidity.

    The project/program is snow removal.

    It requires equipment, dump locations, staff as well as contractors for quick removal.

    That it is the project/program.

    The project/program has a budget which consists of capital as well maintenance, payroll and contracting.

    In my opinion it is absolutely asinine to begin segregating program/project management and cause the extra expense of dealing with purely bureaucratic waste of time to move money from on fund to another.

    This is a saving we can take right off the top.

    The sooner we combine costs into projects/projects we can start to get the total cost of doing things in this City. The money set aside for “operations” does not show us the actual cost of removing the snow from the streets. Any project cost accountant would know that.

      gopg you work for the city maybe..lol maybe involved in this stupid decision.. or maybe a contractor who had befriended city council to get the contract….hmmmm.

      IT WASNT FUNDED FOR it they have to change the rules then it was not IN THE budget…

They could have reduced the levy (tax reduction) and if necessary reinstate it at a later date.

$2.93 Million for a snow disposal site is a bit much, when you consider how we have been getting rid of the snow for the past 100 years. Seems more like a make work, and spend money project.

We need an outside (independent) audit of how the City has been spending our money over the past 20/30 years. I can gaurantee you that they would find **complete and total waste** of tax dollars.

    You and the City are micro managing. I would never work under such conditions.

      No Micro managing here. Just try and follow some land purchases and sales, or the City moving its yard from Ospika (now soccer fields) to the East side of Queensway, then back to 18th and Quinn, and then relocate their purchasing and stores to 18th and Quinn, you begin to get the picture.

      The Tennis Courts were torn up on 15th Avenue to make way for the soccer fields, they were moved to the South End of the driving range at the PG Golf Course, and then they were torn up (smashed down) and relocated to the North End of the PG Golf Course. Seems no building in this town is safe once the City gets into its planning.

      There are plenty more instances of wasting money which I will not get into, but you get my drift.

I see our local,gov is following the liberals in our province.. take money from one place then spend it where you shouldn’t..

Like the 900 million they took from icbc. Then the next year icbc goes up to cover costs?

Then tens of millions from BC hydro…as our rates skyrocket…

It’s doesn’t work at any level of government.. it all comes from the tax payers…but politicians don’t care about the voters..

I would be in favour of taking funds from snow removal and establishing a dandelion removal fund.

Perhaps council could take the necessary money from their wages and expenses. The idea of taking this money from the snow REMOVAL reserves should not even be considered. If council wants to borrow money for this venture, they should at least ask the taxpayers if they can? Isn’t this how things should happen with a council committed to dialogue and transparency?

    You get that right.

    Maybe you would like to take a vote on which books the Library should stock in our Library.

    Some place used to do that, and possibly others still do.

    Tell me how much the gross cost of the snow removal program is on an annualized basis, set up the account including a contingency fund for abnormal winter weather conditions, and provide guidelines of where money can be reallocated if the contingency fund reaches an established cap.

      I have it..shut down the library… theres the money..

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