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1,100 comments on West Kel roads

The District of West Kelowna has received more than 1,100 comments and complaints regarding road maintenance in the municipality since Dec. 7, 2012.

That was the date AEL took over road maintenance in West Kelowna from Argo Road maintenance.

Admittedly, the transition has not been a smooth one.

"I think it's fair to say there have been some transition issues. We noted that would probably be the case given the takeover date of Dec. 7, in the middle of the snow season," stated DWK Chief Administrative Officer, Jason Johnson, at a council meeting earlier this month.

In a report for tomorrow's (Tuesday) council gathering, Roads and Contract Supervisor, Chris Anderson, says despite 'growing pains' and a 'steep learning curve,' the Engineering and Operations Department is satisfied AEL is in general compliance with the terms of the contract to date.

At its last council meeting Jan. 8, council asked the community to let the municipality know about problems or concerns regarding snow and ice removal.

Anderson says 456 phone calls and emails were received in response to council's request.

Those calls and emails were responded to individually.

"As a result of the total communications received (1,140), DWK staff have forwarded 440 work orders to AEL, which included 76 general comments and 72 complaints," says Anderson in his report for council.

"AEL has indicated that they wish to receive all comments and complaints received by the district from residents as this information enables them to identify areas of higher priority and deploy their forces more effectively during snowfall and freezing events."

Anderson adds the municipality and AEL are working together to analyze the content of the complaints and compliments to determine how those issues can be addressed.

The contract with AEL includes 15 snowfall and 20 freezing events annually as part of the lump sum price of $1.731M a year.The contract price also includes summer maintenance.

Events are described as follows:

  • A snowfall event is defined as - any time conditions require snowplow services resulting in 600 or more plow-kilometres in a calendar day
  • A freezing event is defined as - any time conditions result in the application of anti-icing or de-icing chemical to all the arterials and collector roads within the district within a calendar day.

Contingencies of up to $200,000 have also been set aside in the event of a defined 'hard winter.'

Anderson says up to Jan. 13, AEL has claimed 12 snowfall events and 25 freezing events.

"DWK staff is in the process of reviewing the claim submitted by AEL to confirm compliance with the provisions of the contract," says Anderson.

"The contractor will be compensated for snowfall and freezing events that exceed the annual limits based on the contract unit rates for equipment, labour and materials.



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