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Kawartha Lakes officials provide an explanation for their holiday snow declaration

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: At the opening of the first Committee of the Whole meeting of 2023, Kawartha Lakes officials explained why the City of Kawartha Lakes declared a “significant weather event,” on December 24th.

“It was a huge event. It wasn’t just in Kawartha Lakes; it was probably from the Prairies to the Maritimes, from deep in Northern Ontario down to almost the Gulf of Mexico. It impacted a large number of people,” Mayor Doug Elmslie said, at the Tuesday, January 10th meeting. “The problem, of course, was the wind. We could plow a road, and within half an hour, it looked like we hadn’t touched it.”

He also thanked municipal staff who were involved with plowing and storm cleanup.

“They gave up their family time, they gave up their Christmases, they gave up a lot, in order to try to keep everyone in the City safe, and I thank them very much for their efforts.”

According to a City of Kawartha Lakes press release, when a municipality declares a significant weather event, the declaration “suspends the standard timelines required for the City to meet their winter maintenance objectives.”

“It recognizes a municipality is going to have challenges meeting the obligations required in minimum maintenance standards, and allows us some grace or additional time to provide that service. Ultimately, the goal is to meet those minimum maintenance standard expectations,” Bryan Robinson, the Director of Public Works, explained. “It does not mean we pulled resources off the road. Quite the opposite, in this particular case. We had full resources deployed [during] the entire event.”

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