News West Nipissing running out of space to dump snow SHARE ON: Rocco Frangione, staff Thursday, Feb. 21st, 2019 Photo credit: supplied The search is on in West Nipissing for more snow yards where the municipality can dump snow it removes from streets. Councillor Ivon Duhaime says the current yard is at capacity and West Nipissing is looking for three and perhaps four alternative sites. The search for the extra sites is the result of the above average snowfall the province has received this winter. Duhaime and other members of council understand the public’s frustration with streets not cleared of snow. However, he says the issue this year has been that crews have no sooner cleaned up after one massive s snowstorm and they ’re hit with another big storm. The problem is each time that happens, the priority areas like main arteries and bridges need to be cleared first and the areas need to remain safe. Council says it means if you live on a quiet residential street, don’t expect the plow to come through any time soon after a big snowfall. The municipality has 550 kilometres of road to maintain and compounding the removal operation after a significant snowfall is the employees are only allowed to work so many hours according to provincial legislation. Staff told council the crews are working 10 to 13-hour shifts and after repeated shifts like this, they are required to take time off. In addition, with the equipment fleet getting such a workout this winter, it also needs to be serviced every so often. During the debate, Mayor Joanne Savage asked if other contractors could step in to help out. Staff said the municipality sent a call to three firms and only one responded and it asked how long would the municipality need its services because it too was having problems keeping up servicing its clients. Meanwhile, there’s another issue looming as crews try to remove the snowbanks. If the municipality still has numerous snowbanks lying about and the region experiences a warm spring, the threat of flooding becomes a real possibility. Savage raised this as a concern and pointed out unless the municipality gains the upper hand on snowbanks, then it will face another big issue in just a matter of weeks. If there’s a bright side to the snow removal dilemma for West Nipissing it’s that a couple of councillors were in Sudbury recently and said West Nipissing is doing a better job of removing its snow than the Nickel City has done.