Road crews busy

The amount of snow in Central Alberta has continued to fall relentlessly, forcing municipal road crews to step up their manpower

A large truck got stuck in a drift at the entrance of Highway 20 and A&W. early last week causing two other trucks to turn and use another entrance onto Hwy. 20. The driver did get his vehicle out of the drift eventually. Road conditions were hazardous.

A large truck got stuck in a drift at the entrance of Highway 20 and A&W. early last week causing two other trucks to turn and use another entrance onto Hwy. 20. The driver did get his vehicle out of the drift eventually. Road conditions were hazardous.

The amount of snow in Central Alberta has continued to fall relentlessly, forcing municipal road crews to step up their manpower and equipment in an attempt to keep roads cleared.

In Rimbey two local contractors have been hired to assist public works with snow removal.

Mayor Rick Pankiw said keeping roads cleared in a priority.

“We want people to shop locally, we need to make businesses accessible.”

Pankiw urged residents on 56 St. and 57 St. to refrain from parking on the street until the snow plough has been through.

“They are running out of room and the space is shrinking for them to get through. The last thing we want to do is to start towing vehicles.”

Public works foreman Rick Schmidt said keeping up with the snowfall means working more than 12 hours many days.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen and I’ve been here 12 years.”

He asked for the public’s patience, adding the town is doing its best to keep the roads cleared.

Melissa Beebe, the town’s assistant CAO said snow removal has pushed the budget allotted for roads over by about $10,000, already. Approximately $142,000 was earmarked for roads including salaries and so far, $152,000 has been spent.

“We didn’t budget for this at all,’ she said. “It is always based on the year before and there is no guarantees.”

She said the public needs to be patient and understand crews are doing the best they can.

“The main concern is to open the roadways. As a community we all have to work together. We only have so much equipment and we are doing the best we can with what we have.”

A spokesperson from the Bentley town office said road crews are working diligently to keep the streets cleared, but no extra staff or equipment has been hired.