- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

What used to be a conversation over the clothesline or the back fence is now a Facebook discussion with neighbours you may or may not know chiming in.

The following comments were all posted Tuesday in reference to the state of Owen Sound's winter maintenance since the snow stopped falling Monday morning. And of course, there are photos.mount-owen

"I live on 8th Street East across from the college. We are just over the crest of a hill. The snowbank is so high that  we can NOT get a clear view to be able to leave our driveway."

"It's frustrating! Having to push my toddler's stroller on the roads because there are no sidewalks... or the banks are too high. I wish public safety was more of a priority."

"I really dislike having to make a judgement call on my own whether or not the meter maid thinks it's ok to pay or not. If they see it's not safe for people to get to the meter they should put it out of commission until it is safe for access."

"I am a regular bus rider and none of the bus stops are cleared out so the buses have to stop on the road or the nearest clearance to let people off the bus. This make it even worst when someone has a walker and needs the ramp down to get on or off the bus ... I have seen two people today almost fall trying to get off the bus because there isn't a clear stop for the bus to stop at. The bus drivers are telling people to call city hall and put a complaint in."

Technology also allows residents to lodge such complaints by email, and for City staff to reply.

"Thanks for the note and I appreciate your concerns. The City has increased our sidewalk snowplows from three to four in the past year. When we have lots of snow over extended periods we do have difficulty keeping up. This is due partly to do having a certain number of operators who can only work a certain amount of hours and the fixed number of machines.

Council has approved the hiring of 4 seasonal operators who will only be running the sidewalk plows. We are bringing these new employees on next week. This should improve our efficiency and service once we have this up and running."

The current Owen Sound winter maintenance policies, including the street and sidewalk classification maps and many frequently asked questions are on the City's website here.

photos courtesy of Cory Laycock




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