Another hard winter means another $1 million more in Coquitlam’s coffers to get ready for the next snowfalls.
Tonight (May 8), council is expected to move the money from the City Initiatives Reserve to the Extreme Weather Reserve to prepare for the 2023–24 dumps.
But the cash transfer to make up for a funding shortfall is nothing new.
Over the past decade, council has topped up the account to handle the white stuff by about $700,000 a year on average:
- 2022 = $1 million
- 2021 = $165,465
- 2020 = $800,000
- 2019 = $1 million
- 2018 = $360,496
- 2017 = $870,000
Jaime Boan, Coquitlam’s general manager of engineering and public works, said the municipality budgeted $1.3 million last year; however, the price tag for the winter response came in at nearly $2.4 million — a difference of $1,053,317.
In his report to council, Boan described the 2022–23 winter as “one of the longer and more extreme winters that the Lower Mainland has experienced in several years and broke several weather records.”
Specifically, Coquitlam crews were deployed to clear and salt the roads for eight major snow events between November 2022 and March 2023, and three of them caused significant delays to civic services:
- Nov. 29, 2022: three days of snow (more than 25 cm) with lows of -7 Celsius
- Dec. 17, 2022: nine days of snow (more than 50 cm) with lows of -12 Celsius
- Feb. 25, 2023: six days of snow (more than 33 cm) with lows of -7 Celsius
Boan said the temperature was so cold last December that public works staff added sand to the salt mix for many days to get the snow and ice off of Coquitlam’s hilly streets.
And the road damage afterward was evident: City crews fixed a total of 241 pot holes from November to March, he said.
Meanwhile, for the next winter, city council is set to change its “When Declared” parking restrictions.
That means when it snows, there will be no on-street parking along Blue Mountain Street, Chilko Drive, Dolphin Street and Highland Drive.
Currently, the “When Declared” notice is issued for Corona Crescent, Hamber Court, Pritchett Place, Lansdowne Drive and on Westwood Plateau.
Also for the next winter season, Boan said the Austin Service Centre will be doubled and new ploughing trucks will be in place.
For information about how to stay safe during extreme cold, go to coquitlam.ca/winterprep.