"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

Thursday 26 February 2015

The Saga Of Melting Snow. Now You See It. Now You Dont

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Perception Is The Reality": 

Ah, 20:10. Do try to enjoy the bright days and the fact that no one here appears to be agitating for some scheme to treat our snow. I have to wonder how many, if any, municipalities bought into that region initiative. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 23 February 2015 at 20:5

It was not a regional initiative. It was a copy cat from Richmond Hill. 

A new  budget item in 2006 was an environmental engineer at a cost of  $100.thousand a year to start off. It costs  $30 thou.to equip a new staff, plus space.The recommendation came from  the citizens environmental advisory committee.

I asked the function. .  "Identifying  environmental initiatives "  was the answer 

Each year thereafter I asked for  initiatives identified. 

The question would  be greeted with bemused but knowing glances around the table.

Subsequently $750,000. appeared in the capital budget for a treatment facility for "stored " snow.

By the next year $167,000 had been spent for a design of  a treatment facility. Approval  was sought  to build the facility.

Snow from a few central streets is dumped on a permeable parking lot that wasn't used in winter. The previous dump  is now the community gardens site. It just sat there minding its own business until it melts in the spring.

Now staff were ready to proceed to the next step of calling bids for a facility to remove salt from the melting snow. It involved paving the parking lot creating a runnels for the melt to dlow into the
"Treatment " facility.

My first thought was that parking lot is a permeable surface. Melt would filter through.The lot is
on the edge of  the Lambert Wilson ravine.Why is treatment needed? second thought :  salt can't be removed from water.  Third, where there is salt, there can be no snow.

Salt is contra-indicated.

Conclusion  :what kind of a cockamamie scheme is this?

Then  they said it wasn't really about removing salt. Pathogens were the problem. They come from animal excrement.

The unlikelihood of dogs squatting at the side of Yonge Street to relieve themselves in the snow was
pointed out . That explanation was not used again.

A Regional official  was brought in to inform Council the snow dump was on the well head protection
area.  The treatment was needed to protect the water supply.

So, why not just move the dump I said or buy e quip net to melt the snow where it falls.

Approval was withheld  but neither was the project rejected. Instead the price went up to $850,000.

Accommodation for the treatment facility was included in the plans for the new Joint Facility for parks and works department.

As luck would have it ,the price of that boondoggle rose to $26 million from $14 million.

Finally the snow melt treatment facility was eliminated.


Anonymous said...

The weird thing is that it might crop up again. Sometimes a dumb idea just keeps turning up at the table.

Anonymous said...

In his annual State of the Town address last week, Mayor Dawe's opening remark was:

"Taking risks - calculated risks - is an integral component of success."

This may be true if all the research has been expertly done.

On the snow storage project, lacking even the most basic common sense, it would have been cancelled before huge amounts of taxpayer money were squandered.

Who was or who were responsible?

Does anyone know? Does anyone care?

Anonymous said...

I was reading that Councillor Bisnaz in Newmarket was trying ot get the dumping of snow at the Twinney complex stopped because of the noise of the trucks.

Seems that they are dumping it there because the snow melt treatment is there.

Anonymous said...

There were some good ideas that got lost along the way. Petch could have been brought up to spec without costing a lot . The pet burial ground that the town actually owns,.
And what about what seemed like a great idea about having a new kind of outdoor rink ? That one vanished into closed session for legal talk.

Anonymous said...

Snow melting BS treatment. And you wonder why the Region is $2.5 billion debt. Just read the BS article "Understanding the Region's 2.5 billion debt" in that so called newspaper. Who are they kidding. Funny thing...I think they might really believe their own BS.

Theresa buck said...

They believe their own bullshit because the majority of voters don't quite give a shit. Look at the percentage of voter turn out, it speaks volumes!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Theresa Buck said...

Anonymous 9:27 you never know just what may happen in four years.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should ask Richmond Hill how that is working for them ?

Anonymous said...

19:27- Good God... That's another Town run by staff. Their mayor and 2 Regional councilors should have been tossed in the that election. But yet again, another example of catering to the 1/3 of the electorate who get catered to and vote.

Anonymous said...

But they got stuck with the snow treatment facility. Thank largely to Evelyn & maybe even the Blog, we dodged that one.

Anonymous said...

Richmond Hill lucked out with the cost of this snow melter filter thing. Environmental Canada helped them out with the building of it because they wanted to "study" it. The maintenance cost of this snow melter has been pretty much a secret. Its been buried in the parks and recs budget and of course asking for the break down is like asking for the impossible. Aurora did luck out in dodging that money sucking project.