1 a.m., Nov. 27)
The city is spending too much on winter maintenance, auditor
By Fred Sherwin
City of Ottawa has been providing its residents with premium
winter maintenance services at a premium cost, according
to city auditor Ken Hughes.
one of five audit reports released on Thursday, Hughes
points out that the winter maintenance standards are higher
than all but one other municipality in the province and
the highest cost per kilometre of roadway in the province.
provincial standard calls for residential streets to be
cleared 16-20 hours after a major snowfall. The city standard
is 10 hours. The difference is only 1-2 hours for busier
streets like Jeanne d'Arc Blvd., Tenth Line Road, and
his report, Hughes notes that providing a higher service
standard than other municipalities in the province is
a key contributor to the city having the highest cost
per kilometre of roadway in the province and that there
is a potential for savings if the standards are brought
more in line with the other municipalities.
the 20 recommendations contained in the report, Hughes
believes the city should conduct a thorough review of
its winter maintenance operations to
ensure an optimal mix of internal and contracted services.
sensing what direction the auditor's report might take,
the City has already contracted KPMG to do a review of
its winter maintenance standards and practices, however,
it won't be completed until the spring. In the meantime,
the public works department must find $2.7 million in
savings this winter as set out in the 2016 draft budget.
annual winter maintenance budget is about $60 million.
also recommends that the city should consider charging
car owners who fail to obey winter parking restrictions
the cost of towing to recoup the expenditure.
unsure how the recommendations will be received by the
city councillors, some of whom are reticent to reduce
the winter maintenance service levels fearing a push back
their constituents. But that debate will have to wait
until after the KPMG report is tabled next week.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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