This is some pretty awesome news, especially for the people in charge of the city’s budget, but how is it that Edmonton has so much money left over? Well, we saved $13 million on snow and ice removal, due to the uncommonly mild winters that we have had for the past few years, caused probably by climate change, and the El Nino. Another large chunk of money is from personnel costs such as cutting back on overtime hours, and by not filling unnecessary vacant municipal government positions.
However, to fill the role of the skeptic; does Edmonton even do a proficient enough job of snow and ice removal in the first place? It’s obvious to anyone who lives in Edmonton that they most definitely do not remove snow from the majority of residential areas in the city. Also, there are many places in Edmonton where the public sidewalks are perpetually icy, for example the other side of the Ada Blvd Bridge near Concordia. It seems ridiculous that Edmontonian’s will be fined for leaving ice on the sidewalks in front of their houses, but it’s totally fine for the city to leave public sidewalks covered in ice. On a similar note, the city of Edmonton will not plow the more heavily trafficked residential streets, but they will pay someone to ticket people who are parked on these streets for over two hours.
1: The majority of collisions in these areas are not very serious, and almost never life threatening, as the vehicles are moving at relatively low speeds.
2: It gives the city of Edmonton a reason to use more “sand” on the roads. Sand that more closely resembles the kind of small gravel that you would find in concrete mix (seriously though how is this considered a good idea), and that causes innumerable amounts of windshield damage.
3: Both of these things cause damage to Edmontonian’s vehicles, and we’re more likely to spend more money on local businesses that repair windshields and bodywork, which stimulates the local economy.
When it comes down to it, it’s all about money in the end. The city likes having a budget surplus at the end of the year, which to the credit of the city, does go towards some really important and great things! The city also obviously makes money on revenue from having people going around ticketing vehicles for parking offences, and loses money on paying people to remove the snow and ice on the same residential streets. Similarly, the worsened road conditions in these residential areas create more collisions and vehicle damage, which in turn stimulates the local Edmonton economy. Obviously, these are just my crazy pessimistic theories on the situation. I would suggest that it would definitely be a smart idea for you business people to consider a business that provides crushed rock to the city in the winter.
Kohan L. Eybergen