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City finalizes snow clearing deal with Province


The City of Dauphin has entered into a snow removal agreement with Manitoba Infrastructure for the clearing and sanding of all highways within city limits.
Director of Public Works and Operations Bill Brenner told councillors at their regular meeting Jan. 14, that the formula for billing the province will change under the new deal.
“Past practise has been we have tracked our costs for cleaning the highways with the city and billed Manitoba Infrastructure. But the province decided that was not how they wanted to do it anymore,” Brenner said.
“We will now be getting paid based on the amount of snowfall between November and the end of March and there is a formula we use to calculate how much we get paid.”
Brenner assured councillors he and director of finance Scott Carr have crunched the numbers and income versus costs will basically be the same as in the past.
“The fortunate thing is that this is only a one-year agreement,” Brenner said, assuring councillors the agreement with Manitoba Infrastructure is the same one being signed by municipalities across the province.
“So if it doesn’t work out that way, we can hopefully get a better agreement the next time around.”
Snowfall amounts will be measured at the Dauphin airport and while those numbers may differ slightly from accumulation in the city, Brenner said the province made every effort to find the correlation between the airport numbers and what occurred in the city.
“They actually went back, I believe it was 10 years, and looked at the snowfall at the airport, specifically because that is what we will be basing the future measurements from. And those were corresponded to actually how much we billed for the snow clearing and that is what the formula was derived from,” he said.
“So they looked at what was the snowfall in the year at the airport and how much did we bill them for snow clearing here in Dauphin.”
Brenner added the margins in some years were better than in others, but overall the deal should be fair for everyone.
“In the end it will likely average out,” he said.
“We still will be job costing. We will know how much it cost us to clean up the snow. And obviously we will look at it at the end of March and just make sure that our needs are being met. And if not, next year we will have to address that.”
As for snowfalls which occur outside the dates of the agreement, Brenner said compensation will be determined using the same formula on a case-by-case basis.
“What MI has told us is it basically is just a conversation with them. Do they want us to clean up the snow and are they going to pay for it? So it will again be based on the per centimetre snowfall,” he said.
“In most cases in April we don’t do a lot of plowing anyhow, because the next day the snow is usually melting. It’s not normally an issue.”