After the most recent dump of winter weather, it will come as a relief to many Brockville residents that the city is hiring five seasonal workers to ensure sidewalks are cleared more quickly in snowstorms.
It’s one of two measures council recently approved (the other being the addition of salt to the sand used on sidewalks), that together are expected to drive up the winter control budget by about $145,000 a year.
In the estimation of our municipal leaders, it’s an added expense of which a majority of taxpayers approve: More spending for an added level of service they want.
But city operations director Conal Cosgrove’s report on the matter paints a broader financial picture, one that is far from optimistic, one that suggests much larger spending increases will be coming regardless of how the public feels about them.
The report notes that increases in actual spending for winter control of roads and sidewalks for the past three years have averaged nearly 11 per cent.