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Adams Says Province's Snow Clearing Standards Unacceptable
(Thursday, February 7/2002)-- It is totally unacceptable for residents in the outlying areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality to have to wait up to 30 or 36 hours after a storm for the provincial Transportation Department to clear their roads, Councillor Stephen Adams said today.
Councillor Adams (District 18-Spryfield/Herring Cove) said he received telephone calls from various residents last evening, who complained that provincial plows had just arrived to clear their streets or that they were still waiting to be plowed out.
The Councillor said "I was getting calls Wednesday night that were related to Monday's storm. There's got to be something drastically wrong here when a taxpayer has to wait that long to have their street cleared."
Councillor Adams also took exception to comments attributed to a provincial Transportation Department spokesperson in this morning's media, who claimed the department was living up to its standards when it comes to snow clearing.
Spokesperson Richard Perry was quoted as saying "We have consistent service standards that are based on the classification of road, and the whole idea behind that is to make sure that all roads within our jurisdiction are treated the same way, regardless of where they are in the province."
Councillor Adams said "They may have consistent services levels, but they are consistently poor. It's time for the Transportation Department to review its current standards, because its customers are certainly not satisfied with the present level of service-which is a present lack of service.."
He said HRM has a contract with the Province to maintain roads in what basically was the former County of Halifax; in return, the municipality maintains certain provincially-owned roads within the core area.
Councillor Adams said "The complaints don't seem to be coming from the residents whose roads are maintained by the municipality.... they're coming from the taxpayers who live on roads maintained by the Province, and they are upset by the poor level of service."
The issue of road maintenance by the Department of Transportation was discussed at Tuesday evening's Regional Council meeting. HRM is considering taking legal action against the Province for the alleged poor level of service it is providing under the Provincial/Municipal Service Agreement.
Councillor Stephen Adams