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A snowy baptism by fire for West Kelowna's new roads contractor

While West Kelowna drivers have dealt with snowy conditions over the past week, it has been a baptism by fire for the district's new roads contractor.

AEL, a division of HMC Services Inc., began its snow removal and road maintenance contract with West Kelowna Dec. 7.

Since then, the Westside has had several snowfalls to deal with and frustrated motorists are realizing there is a learning curve for the new contractor.

Mayor Doug Findlater said he's heard plenty of complaints about roads not being serviced.

"It's no big surprise. With the new contractor, there are bound to be transition issues," said Findlater.

He noted snow—which fell during the weekend—on a road near his house still hadn't been removed as of Tuesday afternoon.

While the district is asking the public be patient with AEL as it learns how to best service the district, residents are encouraged to keep informing staff members of roads that have snow that needs to be removed.

"I've certainly been lighting up staff's e-mails with comments I've received about specific locations.

"We have staff out patrolling the area and making note of areas that need attention."

The district has provided information on its website—districtofwestkelowna.ca—regarding snow removal, including a snow clearing priorities map.

The public is encouraged to phone during regular business hours at 778-797-2225 or after hours at 1-866-353-3136 to give snow removal service input. Complaints can also be submitted by e-mail at roads@districtofwestkelowna.ca.

Residents can aid snow removal efforts by ensuring vehicles are parked off-street to avoid interference with plows and sand/salt trucks. The district is also reminding residents snow plows are unable to avoid depositing snow in front of driveways when clearing streets.

Property owners are asked to shovel snow along sidewalks in front of their residences.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

 

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