"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday 7 October 2013

Why Oh Why are there no sensible answers.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Various Degrees of Conundrum": Another example of pure HOGWASH. "Salt is used to melt snow and ice. Straight salt spread on street means no snow to remove from said street." Straight salt is put on the street in order to prevent it from icing up after you plow it. You don't put salt onto the snow when it's 6 inches deep. You plow the snow with the front of the truck and you salt the road at the back. What world do you live in? Moderate comments for this blog. Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 7 October 2013 08:55
 O.K. Smart Ass. I'm living in your world obviously or you wouldn't be reading my blog.

You say salt doesn't get spread snow.
We know salt melts ice.
We know salt stops water from freezing into ice.
We know salt  certainly would melt snow if it came into contact with snow.
We know melted snow and ice is water.
Now you argue salt doesn't get spread on snow.
And  that  makes me from another planet.

The point in contention  is :
Why are we spending a million dollars on a treatment facility to remove
salt and other ethereal stuff from snow when there is no salt in the snow.
Where there is salt, there cannot  be snow.
Furthermore, if there is a problem dumping snow,which has obviously had no contact with
salt ,on the  protected area of the well head, why are we dumping it on the wellhead area.
Why, when winters are becoming warmer, have we  switched from using a mixture of salt and sand
to using straight salt on  primary streets and straight sand on secondary streets. At greater expense
according to consultants examining service levels.

My job is to ask questions. Staff's job is to provide the answers.

Why do we have work crews available to move snow from about one per cent of the streets in town; load it into trucks with a loader the size of a teaspoon and transport it to dump it in a place it shouldn't be, to be treated by a facility constructed under  the pavement  at a cost of a million dollars.

What are they doing when there is no snow to clear off  streets. Would the front end loader and truck  be needed,  if it wasn't being used to clear snow uncontaminated by salt off  a few streets in the town core?

Snow is currently being dumped  on a disused parking lot with a permeable surface where it melts
in the Spring thaw sinks into the ground and is filtered on its way down. the same  way all the rest of the snow  does that falls on Aurora in winter.

The previous  snow dump is  the current site of the community  gardens, flourishing very nicely thank  you very much. No harm done there to the  environment after many years  of winter snow melting in the Spring.

According  to Gordon Barnes, resident environmentalist, melted snow from our current site flowed out towards a slow-growing ginko tree in the arboretum and did no harm there either after three or four years of continuous use of  that site for dumping snow.

Now then, I may be the only one of nine people  at the Council table not satisfied with answers
provided to my questions.

It would be foolish to imagine I am the only  taxpayer in  town who doesn't recognize a boondoggle when I see one.

If I don't get satisfactory answers, I conclude there are none.


Michael Suddard said...

A suggestion, have staff contact the City of Ottawa where the snow is removed from most of the downtown core during the winter. Ottawa has been doing this for 20+ years.

This operation works like clockwork and they have a snow storage place that would make Aurora's look like a needle compared to Ottawa's haystack.

What does Ottawa require for their snow storage and what is the issue with salt? Trust me Ottawa staff would have the answer and if not, well, that's a larger issue that has been uncovered.

Why re-invent the wheel when someone else has perfected a solution that has worked for 20 plus years?

Anonymous said...

Where, oh where, is there a long list of other municipalities that treat their snow ? Would Bradford and Fort Erie be on that list ?

Anonymous said...

You are not likely to ever get any clear answers from the director of the engineering dept. (or whatever it is now called). We were losing up to 14% or more of our treated water and taxpayers had to make up this shortfall - treasurer said so
having reviewed the numbers. Then came a study of the water infrastructure - Mayor reported it is in great shape - no significant losses. Maybe we were buying bulk water from the region but were not using it, just paying for it. Call it a metering problem. Or maybe homeowner meters are no good said the Town. Town to replace meters a few years ago. Nothing yet.

Water goes up at least 5 times the rate of inflation on an annual
basis. Region mandates this. Our Mayor gets his orders to approve the increases at regional council without ever a question or explanation. Does not matter that some of it is Aurora's well water. How much? Check with engineering dept for data.

I think Mayor once tried to figure it out but the engineering dept. likely provided him new baffling information/data.

It will be a tough nut to crack Councillor - if you get any clear answers please post ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr Suddard. I assume, subject to correction, that you are saying that Aurora believes it requires the same sort of snow treatment that the Capital of the country requires ? For our tiny bit of snow ?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but this is all over my head. If our trees are not being threatened and salt is not getting into the water sources, why are we spending a lot of money here? Isn't global warming coming soon?