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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Brockton Rural Snow Clearing Solution

Brockton | by Robyn Garvey  

Council grants staff permission to spend up to $60K on sidewalk snowblower

This winter reprieve is welcomed new for rural hamlets in Brockton that are struggling without sidewalk maintenance. 

After rejecting a motion to close the sidewalks in Chepstow, Cargill and Elmwood, Brockton Council has instructed staff to go shopping.

Staff have permission to spend up to 60 thousand dollars on sidewalk snowblower.

The snowblower will be stationed in Chepstow where the need has been deemed the greatest.

Resident Jay Kerley is cautiously optimistic, he has been lobbying the municipality for over a year to provide winter sidewalk maintenance.

His son Zane who is confined to a wheel chair, volunteers at the local school two days a week.

This means he has to travel along the busy highway in his wheel chair because of the lack of winter maintenance. 

Like Zane, school children are also forced to travel on the busy highway because of the filled in sidewalks.

Kerley calls it an accessibility and public safety issue.He believes Brockton has a moral duty to ensure children can walk to and from school safely.

There is a great push to get the snowblower in place as soon as possible, especially before the next big storm

This is why Council is trying to hurry the process along by allowing staff the discretion to decide which model to purchase without first waiting for Council approval at the next meeting in January.

The plan is to have the snowblower used also in Cargill and Elmwood in the near future as well, but that will be dependant upon purchasing a 7 thousand dollar trailer to transport the snowblower and hiring seasonal staff to operate it.

As for Chepstow, the municipality will be advertising for a seasonal worker to come forward to take on the Chepstow sidewalks.

Mayor Chris Peabody is hopeful they will be able to hire someone soon.

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