A Langley City crew clears ice and and snow from an intersection. From left: Bill Kerton Roberto Di Lorenzo and Sonia Custock, who is using a blowtorch to help break up the ice. The City spent nearly $180,000 to clear away snow and ice in December.

Both Langleys go into the red to clear the white stuff

City councillors praise staff for maintaining “near-black-pavement” conditions through long stretch of snowy weather

The City of Langley and the Township both went over budget clearing ice and snow last month.

The City is expected to use contingency funds to cover about $56,000 in total additional expenses to date while the Township is facing a $500,000 overage.

In his report to City council on Monday, Rick Bomhof, the City director of Engineering and Parks, said clearing the “uncharacteristic snow and ice” in December cost $179,589 — well over the $154,000 that was budgeted for the whole year.

That brings the total City snow and ice removal costs for all of 2016 to “somewhere around $210,000” Bomhof said.

In December alone, City staff devoted 1,200 man-hours and deployed 632 metric tonnes of salt to maintain what mayor Ted Schaffer said was as “close as possible to a black pavement policy.”

Both Schaffer and Coun. Nathan Pachal praised City crews for putting in long hours to keep roads passable.

“Compared to other municipalities, we shine,” Pachal said.

“It was always nice (in December) to come back to Langley City where roads are plowed.”

A report to Langley Township council by the engineering division said the larger municipality spent $1,300,000 on snow and ice control in 2016, exceeding the annual operating budget of $800,000.

Since November 2016, “Township forces have placed over $1.8 million litres of brine and used over 4,500 tonnes of salt” the report said.

The report described the winter conditions as “abnormally severe” … “with about double the average amount of snow accumulation and about five degrees colder temperatures than the average since 1961.”