Snow Removal

Did You Know?


… Owners or occupants must clear snow or ice from sidewalks abutting commercial or institutional property within 24 hours and residential property within 48 hours.



Snow removal guidelines focus on public safety


   For pedestrian safety, owners or occupants of property within town limits must clear snow or ice from sidewalks abutting commercial or institutional property within 24 hours and residential property within 48 hours.

   Although Town of Athabasca By-Law 11-00 covers a broad range of issues dealing with streets, sidewalks and property in town, one section of the by-law focuses specifically on the timely removal of snow and ice from public sidewalks. And while the by-law does not relieve pedestrians from the duty of taking due care in their travels, it does regulate snow and ice removal practices to help ensure greater public safety.

   Where property owners or occupants do not adequately remove snow and ice from abutting sidewalks within the prescribed times, they will be advised that failing immediate improvement of the sidewalk condition, the Town has the authority to do the necessary work and charge the cost to the owner or occupant.

   Owners or occupants could also be subject to a fine of $100. If paid within 14 days of issuance, the fine will be reduced by 50 per cent.


Responsible snow removal


   The by-law cautions that only snow and ice removed from a public sidewalk may be placed within a road right of way. Snow or ice that has fallen on private property cannot be placed on a town roadway or sidewalk.

   When clearing snow or ice from a public sidewalk, due care and caution must be taken not to cause damage to the sidewalk with any instrument or chemical that may affect the sidewalk adversely.

   As a further precaution to ensure public safety, when a person is cleaning a sidewalk, they must stop whenever a pedestrian is passing.

Other safety practices


   Not directly related to snow removal, the by-law stipulates that it is not lawful to run an extension cord or power cable across a Town sidewalk or roadway except in a manner approved by Town personnel.

   Regarding trees, shrubs and bushes that may overhang the sidewalk of a street, lane or public place, the owner of the respective property must keep these trimmed and cut back so as to prevent obstruction to pedestrians or vehicles.


Historical highlight


   An early version of the snow-clearing by-law dates back to 1953 when the streets and sidewalks of Athabasca were significantly less developed than they are today. Mayor Richard E. Hall signed By-Law 234 on Nov. 2 of that year. In addition to snow clearing, the by-law includes references to the daily removal of mud from Town sidewalks, plus references to “those wooden sidewalks presently remaining throughout Blocks 2, 3, 6 of the Hudsons Bay Reserve Subdivision of the townsite.”

   Today, residents benefit from a network of paved streets and sidewalks throughout the town and mud is not the concern it once was.

   However, snow and ice do remain a concern through the winter months. Awareness and diligence by all property owners and occupants will help keep the town a safe and enjoyable place to take a stroll.

   To review By-Law 11-00, visit the Town office at 4705 – 49 Ave., or call 675-2063 with questions.
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