"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

Wednesday 4 November 2015


Up UAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "THREE BLIND MICE .....AND MORE":

"The recommendation returned with a new rationale . It wasn't about salt it was about removing pathogens from melting snow.
Pathogens are dog excrement."

I think your statement should read: "Pathogens INCLUDE dog excrement".

That is a minor point but this whole snow melting thing is strange to me - and not always for the same reasons as you. The Town salts and sand our streets. Eventually they plow the street too and the plow's windrow ends up on the side of the streets - usually on lawns and in driveways. The salt that was put on the snow has dissolved as part of the snow melting process, BUT it is retained in the melt water that either freezes (because the salt content is lessened) or goes down the storm sewer. The sand is carried by the snow and ice and remains there until everything melts. 
In the spring when snow and ice melts off of the front lawns, the sand and salt that was held in suspension in the ice remain on the lawn - sometimes huge quantities are on side of the streets. Meanwhile the lawns struggle to live because the salt and sand contaminate the grass. 

So, where does the snow come from that was/is supposed to go to the snow dump? There is no one picking it up at the street level and transporting it. Is it only from parking lots? How many dogs crap on a parking lot? I am confused on this point.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 4 November 2015 at 08:44


Thanks for the response. It gives me reason to stress, though the staff recommendation reached the point of awarding a contract, Council did not proceed with the million dollar boondoggle.The majority
finally voted to reject at almost the last meeting of the term.

It was one of a number of crazy schemes that  took up time, financial resources and finally floundered. 

Windshield  washer was  included in the pathogen argument. I chose the dog excrement example to emphasize  the point of my argument. 

Windshield washer is universally utilised. it wasn't valid either but the other made the argument ridiculous from any perspective.

In a debate, name calling and motive impugning are out of order. 

Demolishing  the argument,  by whatever means, is the only tool available. Unfortunately, order of  debate pits staff and elected members toe to toe against each other and that's not fair to either. 

No-one  ever suggested salt is suspended in snow. It is fresh snow being collected from roads  
in the old town with heavy traffic and where there are no boulevards for snow storage. 

Where there are boulevards, snow is stored until Spring.Grass does take longer to recover at the edges and I attribute that to sand residue not salt. 

During the debate, it was established a snow melting machine could have been purchased for less than cost of the treatment facility and obviates the need for a snow dump. The option did not receive a response. 

Current Procedure is labour and equipment intensive; an endless procession of snow-lading into a truck and shuttling back and forth to the  dump until the snow is removed from designated streets.The dump is a permeable gravel parking lot at the leash-free dog park.Not in use during the snow season.

Snow melts and percolates ,trapping articulates as it filters down. Gordon Barnes an  Arboretum member joined the discussion and noted slow-growing gingko trees close by were unharmed by the melt and supposed salt and pathogens. 

Aregional representative was brought to Council to advise the dump was on the ground water protected well  area.  The argument could have been to shift the dump but that never happened. 
In fact the dump had only recently been moved to that location. 

Also, the region had switched from the ground water supply. Instead, 75% of water used was being purchased from Toronto and Peel Region...source Lake Ontario. That's  another story. 

So there you have it. 

The Snow Melt Saga that isn't.

 In new areas, storm water ponds  are designed to receive articulate from roads; oil slicks, pathogens,asphalt from roof shingles, sand and nobody mentions salt. I have inquired about their effectiveness without response. 

My last water bill listed  storm sewer maintenance at almost $15.

It has gone up from less than $3. Originally. .  There are no storm sewers or storm water ponds in my immediate neighbourhood but I pay anyway. 


Anonymous said...

There are no storm sewers ... in my neighbourhood..."

Are you sure about that? You should check.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Periodically we need a reality check. The treatment facility darn near got passed but did not.
I think council might be trying to smooth the winter snow collection in advance. The job was badly done last year and they took some flak.

Anonymous said...

Dogs do not crap on the streets either. And those who have animals that are walked regularly are pretty
good about picking up on the sidewalks. The big threat about contaminated snow was bogus.

Anonymous said...

"Grass does take longer to recover at the edges and I attribute that to sand residue not salt."

I think that you are wrong in this statement. Salt can do damage to grass and plants. Sand on the grass only delays the sprouting of grass because it blocks out the sun.

Anonymous said...

It is the combination that can cause damage.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

All over the place, salt usage is being reduced for a multitude of reasons.
In Aurora, our council votes to increase salt usage without any scientific or cost-related reasons.
Go figure....

Anonymous said...

What? No outside consultation or study? You mean that this decision didn't cost us a dime?

Anonymous said...

Don't count on it. I'm sure the bill is in the mail.

Anonymous said...

From what I read, there is a cost savings in that there is a cost to use sand and then reclaim it in the spring. There is no reclamation for salt.

Anonymous said...

The decision is to INCREASE salt applications. so, yes, it will cost in time and material.

Anonymous said...

Morning Smile
Mr Carson says the pyramids were made to store grain, not bodies.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't work - there are only a couple of tiny rooms in the largest one. The rest of the construction is solid.