FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John’s CAO Milo MacDonald says recent amendments to the snow clearing policy will ensure that the service remains during frigid temperatures.

Residents expressed their frustrations with the City after it was announced last Tuesday that “non-essential” snow clearing would be paused due to the extreme cold. The City said temperatures below -30 degrees would cause damages to the equipment.

MacDonald says the policy staff were following had been in place for several years, but a mix of low temperatures and precipitation proved the procedure didn’t work.

“Usually, we don’t get a lot of precipitation when it is minus 30 [degrees],” said MacDonald to council.

The CAO says the policy was initially created to protect the equipment from breaking down at lower temperatures. However, he adds that the City has other options such as loaders and dump trucks.

“We do have the ability to provide that service into, into lower temperatures. I think we’ve made the required amendments.”

What amplified the snow clearing issue was that some of the City’s equipment was receiving repairs at the time as well, notes MacDonald.

“It was just an opportunity to reevaluate, and I think we’ve done that.”

Mayor Lori Ackerman thanked MacDonald for the update, noting council and staff have learned lessons from policies.

“This was one of those extremes. It was kind of the trifecta. We had the precipitation, we had the weather, and we had the vacation.”

“We’ve learned our lessons.”

MacDonald says clearing of the downtown core is almost complete.

Contracted “snow fighters” started on northeast residential roads on Sunday and will continue making their way around the city.