Residents critique Cornwall’s clean up from last storm

Residents critique Cornwall’s clean up from last storm

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Late last week a winter storm dumped a massive amount of snow across eastern Ontario, prompting Cornwall to declare it a significant weather event.

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Looking at the forecast, history will repeat itself: a storm is expected Friday through Saturday and Cornwall has declared another significant weather event. as defined by the Ontario regulations for minimum maintenance standards for municipal highways.

Residents took to social media in the wake of last week’s storm, sharing their frustration with the cleanup and maintenance efforts across the city. a resident Marc Léger said he cleared plenty of branches in his own garden and on neighboring properties. He contacted the city, upset that it would not be collecting storm-damaged roadside brush this week.

In response, Cornish Waste Management Director Dave Kuhn said tree branches from recent storms can be bundled up or placed in reusable containers and placed on the curb on their regular collection day during the week of January 9-13. They are collected in connection with Christmas trees.

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Peering under some of the damaged trees, citizens are still concerned about the city’s sidewalks and crosswalks a week after the first storm began.

“I saw an elderly lady struggling to drag her wheeled grocery bag down the sidewalk on Water Street yesterday. She struggled with every step… I wouldn’t want this elderly lady trying to bring her groceries home to be the result of a fall. The elderly seem to be just as overlooked as the people with disabilities in our community,” said resident Rachel Lafave, who shared pictures on social media including a city bus stop still covered in snow Thursday.

Cornwall’s Head of Public Utilities Shawn O’Brien said crews have been out twice since the storm ended to maintain sidewalks across the city, which snow removal does not oversee in transit areas. He said clearing the snow and ice completely is a challenge as it melts and freezes throughout the week. O’Brien claimed snow removal standards were being followed.

Cornwall’s Transport Department has not responded to requests to maintain city transport stops prior to the time of publication.

“We’ll get out as soon as possible. We don’t use (Minimum Maintenance Standards) as a crutch… staff is ready, equipment is ready, everything is in place. We actually went out and did some surface treatments (on Thursday),” O’Brien said.

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