Following a number of complaints about the way the snow was handled this past winter and the way policies were communicated to the public, the city is reviewing their entire snow plan in advance of cold weather returning.

Most members of council raised some concerns this past winter over the length of time it took to plough streets, remove snow and tell people where ploughs were going to be next. One example is the way snow routes were handled where entire streets were blocked off to parking rather than just one side at a time. Another was piling snow in the driving lanes on Main Street, another move that went against policies that had been adopted in recent years.

Councillor Chris Warren made the motion this week and raised several concerns that were observed or suggested.

"Length of time that it takes to clear the snow after a snowfall, lack of snow clearing on nights and weekends, lack of snow clearing on residential roads after major snow events, lack of snow removal, lack of clarity on what the city does when it comes to snow and lack of communication on snow clearing efforts."

Warren acknowledged the amount of information in the report could take a significant time to collect and analyze but even if some minor changes can be made before the next snowfall, he'd be happy.

"There's most likely going to be cost implications to this," continued Warren. "Let's take this next storm, for example, we'd didn't plough some of these streets in 24 hours because we didn't feel like it, it's because we didn't have the resources, the policy, the guidance, the direction, the funding to achieve that level of service."

Jim Puffalt is our new City Manager and agrees that there are some burning issues that need to be addressed. He's offered to try and organize as much of the information as he can while also collecting info from other communities to see where Moose Jaw stacks up.

"(The report will) at least give us something for this fall and winter because I think there are some issues but I think we have to be aware that some of this will end up costing substantially more."

Councillor Brian Swanson has given notice of a motion that he wants to be debated later this month. He's asking council to consider a totally new snow policy where the city would be divided into five sectors and then four of those areas would be contracted out to businesses with the city crews handling the fifth. His motion goes on to stipulate that no contractor could be responsible for snow ploughing and removal in more than two zones.

Council is expected to debate the motion at their next regular meeting towards the end of the month. Council has also called for a complete review of the city's road repair and repaving policy, citing complaints and muddy waters around how things are decided.