The temperature has risen from last week and Town of Drumheller crews are busy trying to clear off Old Man Winter's latest 'gift' from streets around the valley.
 
Some people wonder why residential side streets aren't on the town's radar, but Operations Manager Kevin Blanchett claims it's a simple matter of economics.
 
"It took 20 days at eight hours per day to complete all the roads that we usually do not do," he outlined. "Each day, we use one grader, one snow blower and two tandems (trucks) for a total of $4,773 per day, for a grand total of $95,460."
 
That was to clear off the 30-plus centimetres of snow that fell in a big November storm. It was compounded by a layer of ice underneath the snow that made driving difficult and forced the town to take action.
 
"We'll do downtown (first), we have a Stage One route downtown that is primary collectors, and we have a Stage Two, secondary collectors," he explained. "Once that is done, basically the town is open (and) people can from point A to point B, get their groceries, get the mail, get to essential services."
 
Blanchett also did a study of similar sized communities, including Stettler, Olds and Strathmore, to see how the level of service matches up.
 
"In my opinion, after doing the research, we hold our own, if not better, to the other municipalities and towns," he reported. "We have some good staff here; some of them have upwards of 35 years (and) they're great equipment operators. They could probably do the snow route blindfolded, they take care of the equipment (and) we've got mechanics that just do top notch work."
 
A copy of the Town of Drumheller's snow removal strategy, including maps, can be found through this link

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