Brockton’s new council is trying to think outside the box when it comes to winter sidewalk maintenance for its villages and hamlets.
During the election campaign the lack of winter sidewalk maintenance for rural communities was strongly voiced by residents.
Finding a economically feasible solution to this issue however is proving to be an incredible challenge for the new Council.
A staff report indicates that to provide winter maintenance for Chepstow, Cargil and Elmwood would come as a significant cost.
150 thousand dollars would be needed to purchase the snow removal equipment, another 40 thousand dollars to hire a seasonal operator and the annual operating cost of maintaining those sidewalks has been pegged at 65 thousand dollars a year.
Because of these financial obstacles, Brockton is trying to come up with a community based solution that would be more affordable.
The municipality has decided to focus its attention of Chepstow first, as this is where the need has been identified as the greatest.
The concern surrounds the safety of pedestrians particularly children traveling to and from the bus, who are forced to walk along a busy stretch of highway when the sidewalks are filled in with snow.
As such, Brockton is reaching out to its citizens to see if there is anyone interest in entering into a business venture with the municipality.
Brockton is proposing that it hires an individual from the community to clear the main Chepstow sidewalk with their own personal equipment.
In return, Brockton will provide municipal insurance coverage and safety training for the individual and as well as pay a rental fee for the use of their own personal equipment.
The arrangement will require some finesse as Brockton must ensure the equipment is up to code and the individual hired must also be able to salt and sand the sidewalks.
Brockton encourages all those with their own snow removal equipment that are interested in such a partnership to come forward.