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City to inform residents when significant weather will affect winter maintenance

December 12, 2018 -

The City of Kingston has already responded to several mild to average winter events in the urban and rural areas of the city this season. This winter, the City will also be able to declare a weather event as "significant."

 "The City has a winter maintenance policy based on the Provincial standards and it outlines service levels for clearing roads and sidewalks. Declaring a weather event ‘significant,' signals the public that we may not be able to meet our service level standards," says Bill Linnen, acting director, public works.

 The City may declare a winter weather event significant after reviewing a regional alert from Environment Canada and determining that the weather in Kingston warrants such a declaration. During a significant weather event, residents will be advised to use extra caution and will be reminded winter maintenance service levels for roads and sidewalks may not be met. 

What makes a weather event significant?

A significant weather event is defined as an approaching or occurring weather hazard with the potential to pose a significant danger to the users of highways (streets) within a municipality. When it determines a weather hazard is expected, Environment Canada will issue an alert under its Public Weather Alerting Program. 

Provincial legislation was updated in May to allow municipalities to declare a "significant weather event" when it is expected winter maintenance service levels for sidewalks and roads may not be met.

"The safety of the public remains a priority for the City and every reasonable effort will always be made to meet the winter maintenance service levels," added Linnen.

Review the City's Winter Maintenance Policy and learn more about the Provincial Minimum Maintenance Standards at www.CityofKingston.ca/Snow.