By Kamloops This Week
The Kamloops-Thompson school district has received more complaints about snow and ice removal this winter than ever before, but unless the district wants to divert dollars from education to snow removal, not much more can be done.
That sums up a report to trustees from school district secretary-treasurer Kelvin Stretch and director of facilities and transportation Art McDonald.
“Even though we have the same number of staff and the same amount of equipment operating this winter, we have received more complaints this year than ever before regarding snow and ice,” McDonald wrote in the report, which will be discussed by trustees at their Monday, Feb. 19, meeting at the school district office on Ninth Avenue.
McDonald cited multiple back-to-back snowfalls and several freeze-thaw cycles as contributing to the difficult season.
“With two sand trucks, we cannot get to every ice patch before people get to school in the morning,” McDonald wrote. “At some schools, we have areas where we pile the snow from plowing and we have to haul the snow before it melts, to prevent flooding a neighbour’s property.”
McDonald said crews this winter have had to three times due to snow volume, noting a typical winter would have seen one hauling trip by mid-February.
“It appears that the expectations are changing around winter conditions,” McDonald wrote. “With the staff and equipment allocations we have, we cannot meet these expectations.”
Kamloops has received 37.6 centimetres of snow through Feb. 18, more than three times the amount (11 centimetres) that normally falls in the entire month. Kamloops recorded 19.5 centimetres of snow in January (monthly normal is 22 centimetres), 32.2 centimetres in December (monthly normal is 26 centimetres) and 7.4 centimetres in November (monthly normal is 12 centimetres).
Between Nov. 1 and Feb. 18, Kamloops has seen 96.7 centimetres of snow fall, well above the 65.5 centimetres that normally covers the city during that period.