Snow removal was a hot topic during Lloydminster’s community engagements sessions. The City held events from July to September in order to allow the public input on what they think is best for the city ahead of the 2019 budget. The events included an Online survey, a pancake and jellybean survey, and Your Voice Open House events.
Among the feedback, surveys concluded residents find importance in Protective services, taxation, roads, sidewalks and water services. Winter road maintenance received a huge response in which the city looks to adhere to. Council talked at length during the first draft budget meeting on the difference between snow clearing and removal. Councillor Micheal Diachuk says the effort has been put in so that locals concerns can be heard.
“If we’re really lucky and mother nature cooperates we don’t have to spend the money and do the full snow removal. But certainly, in the event that you see a major dump of snow, I think primarily from an emergency standpoint, you need to make sure your police, fire, hospital, ambulance service can get in there.”
“We do have some money left over from last year and I think I heard the City manager say it was $700,000 and it’s kind of a resiliency fund so if we don’t spend it then we leave it in there and then the plan is we have the extra 1.3 t o1.4 (million),” Diachuck adds that $1.6 million has been accounted for in the proposed budget in the case of a major snow removal. “That will give us the ability without having to draw upon funds from anywhere else.”
According to data provided by the City, 507 surveys were submitted during the months it was available. More than 220 comments were shared and around 115 residents were involved in a face-to-face conversation with council and administration during the events.
The first draft of the 2019 budget was presented to council on November 19. The City will look to tweak the budget over the next couple of months. The budget process will continue with more information being presented at the November 26 Governance and Priorities Committee Meeting.