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October 27, 2017 5:23 pm

Snow Reserve Can Cover Capital Costs

Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 7:19 PM

Prince George, B.C.-  Prince George City Council has approved  amending  the Snow Control Reserve  Fund bylaw so funds can be used  to  cover capital costs associated with  snow removal.

The current bylaw which governs that fund  was established in 1998,   it  only allows surplus dollars from any  year to be  used in future years  for operations when removal costs  exceed the  amount collected through the snow levy.

There  is  at least one  capital project  that needs funding right now,   and that is to  prepare a snow disposal site  in the west bowl.  The cost of that project is  $2.93 million, but by  clearing the way to  have  the reserve fund  capital projects  means the City won’t have to borrow money  to cover the costs of that project.

Councillor Brian Skakun was concerned  reducing the amount in the snow control reserve could leave the City  scrambling  should  the City be hit with a higher than normal snowfall .  Director of Finance, Kris Dalio  says yes,  using the fund to  cover capital projects  related to snow removal  will  have an impact on the balance  of funds in the reserve ‘But we do  collect a snow control levy, and it is designed to  record the costs it takes to remove all the snow from the City, It really should be allowed to be used to cover both operating and capital costs,  as an example  our sewer rates  are modelled to cover both capital and operational expenditures, our water rates are the same way, our garbage rates are the same way.”

Councillor Skakun says  there is  a strange balance  on this  change “One  way or the other, if we have a bad year with some major snow events and that fund is tapped into, on the other hand,  if we don’t have to borrow  to do capital projects, there is a benefit on that side.”

Mayor Hall  says   the snow removal levy could be  adjusted  come budget time “If we choose to continue with the $5 million or increase it or decrease it,  within  the change we are looking at this evening, it gives us that flexibility.”


If this is such a good idea, why was it not implemented in 1998. The original bylaw was specific as to the use of this money.

All that is being said now is hyperbole. The City see’s an opportunity to spend the surplus and that’s what they are going to do.

It was never the intent to tax citizens for specific’s like snow removal, or road rehab, and then use this money for other projects, all the while pretending that they are keeping our tax increases low.

We need someone with a keen sense of finance to look at the City’s shenanigans with a view to getting them back on track.

    1998? …. that is almost 20 years ago? Who was on Council then and who was the City Engineer who promoted that and who was the City Manager that actually endorsed the stupid idea?

    They obviously know little about project/program management. They were far too bureaucratic for what purpose?

    Did you not read that the same rational associative cost accounting and budgeting is done with respect of other City Service.

    Maybe we should change those.

    If you believe that, tell me clearly how that would help save money.

    All you want to do is micro manage City Programs by the electorate rather than people who are hired to do a job controlled by industry standards rather than political leanings.

      We have a few career politicians in our midst gopg2015

      Twenty years later – there can’t possibly be a Councillor on this council that was on the 1998 Council. Oh, yes there is…Murray Krause elected in 1996.

west side ? what ,,,this is crazy, what friend of the city does this piece of land belong to that needs to be purchased for 3 million to dump a pile of snow ? this is insane, must be at least 20 thousand acres of waste land for that price,

    Thinking gopg2015 may own it

      Tell me you are not really thinking that.

      Think it through. Snow removed from streets pick up many contaminants other than small aggregate such as oil based byproducts.

      Those contaminants should be controlled these days and gathered by underground sanitary pipes and basins.

      Mainly, however, the property on which the present snow dump is located has a higher value for residential or other use. So, I assume a land exchange will take place. The question is, if there will be a sale to a private developer, will the net proceeds from that property be fed back into the snow removal fund.

      I have not bothered to read the submission to Council. I expect something like that to show up in the analysis. If it is not then I would have concerns.

      I just checked the report to Council. It is silent on the likely future conversion of the existing snow dump property to a private use which would not only bring the purchase price to the City, but also future property taxes.

      The only thing I see is that the bylaw, as proposed, is acceptable to the province.

I can’t think of a place in the “west bowl” large enough to replace the dump at 18th and Foothills, but they must have picked a spot if they know it will be $2.93 million.

I need a new pair of winter boots- I think they are associated with snow removal.

    Do you kick the snow out of the way with them? Or do you just compact it so it is more difficult for others to remove it?

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