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Private snow haulers back at the dump

Peter Crnogorac
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 17/06) - Private contractors barred by the city from hauling snow to the dump two months ago, are free to return after more than a week of heavy snowfall in the city.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Snow continued to fall Thursday in Yellowknife. Here, a bobcat dumps its load beside the Shoppers Drug Mart yesterday. Shovelling was the theme around town for the fourth day in a row. - Peter Crnogorac/NNSL photo

Last September, private snow removal companies were worried that they wouldn't have a place to dump their snow this winter after the city said they couldn't use their normal spot beside the landfill because of concerns about snow melt leaching into the dump.

"We are dumping the snow in the same place as last year," said Clifford Heal, owner of Heal C Construction.

Claude Mailloux, owner of Camco Construction, confirmed what Heal said.

"It's a good spot," he said. "Everyone has been hauling there."

Mayor Gord Van Tighem said the spot is close to the old dumping area outside of the dump, but has been pushed back a few metres to ensure there is no leaching into the dump.

"The area is permanent as permanent can be these days," he said. "It's permanent for this year at least."

Van Tighem added that Public Works department snow removers themselves are not hauling snow to the dump at all this year.

The Public Works department is responsible for clearing city streets, while private snow removers make their living clearing parking lots for stores and apartment building and the like.

"We are using two new sites northwest of the dump," said Van Tighem.

Snowfall levels have been exceptional over the last few days.

In 2005, Yellowknife saw 192cm of snowfall for the entire year. So far, 70cm of snow have fallen in just the first two weeks of November alone. About 15cm fell on Wednesday.

It hasn't been determined whether any weather records have been broken in the city.

Regardless, Environment Canada posted a snowfall warning for Yellowknife on its website.

"We're not quite at record levels," speculated Van Tighem.

He said the city follows a priority list for areas they plough.

We start with the main traffic areas and emergency routes," he said. "Residential areas get done once or twice a year."

Van Tighem said the city put salt on the road a few weeks ago, but now is dumping crushed rocks in icy areas through the city.

Environment Canada's website states that for today there is a 60 per cent chance of flurries. On Saturday there is a 30 per cent chance. On Sunday and Monday, the website states a 60 per cent chance for snow.