Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snow Removal article in the Rocky View Weekly

I was disappointed - and a little hurt - on reading an article by Sara Wilson in the Rocky View Weekly this week, Beiseker residents upset over "slow snow removal".  It told a tale of Beiseker's residents desparately trying to get help digging themselves out from last week's blizzard, while the village government apparently did little or nothing to assist them.

The article was full of misinformation and inaccurate reporting, which left me disappointed for the reporter and hurt that some folks thought that way about the village, and the Public Works people who have worked very hard to keep Beiseker moving this past week.

Here are the facts as I understand them;
  • All the priority areas were tackled as early as Monday afternoon.  These included the Fire Hall, the Community Centre which operates as an emergency centre during storms, essential service personnel (we want Public Works, RCMP, etc. to be able to get out to their duties as quickly as possible), the water and wastewater pumphouses, and main routes into the village.  Public works continued to work on these areas even as the wind drifted them in over and over.
  • Public Works Foreman Bill tried to open every single street in Beiseker with our skid steer (bobcat).  Every street had a trail opened through it.  These weren't very wide and often blew in again but they helped many folks walk to their homes.
  • Beiseker recorded one of the highest windspeeds and snow dumps in the province during the storm!
  • All telephone inquiries to the Village Office regarding snow removal were answered or responded to.  There were no multiple calls or messages registered on our answering equipment.  
  • The Village of Beiseker has never spent any municipal funds moving or funding the Bassano Station!  None!  That whole project is a private venture by a railway museum society based in Calgary.  They did receive a federal grant, but at no cost or resposibility to the Village of Beiseker.
  • It is likely that we will go over budget on our 2013 snow removal amount.  We had to hire contractors to help move more than 1000 metric tonnes of snow from the village.  We do try to keep a small contingency for this kind of thing but an event of this size is very hard to plan or budget for!
  • All of our Public Works and Village Office staff worked very long hours under some very grueling conditions to get Beiseker back to normal as soon as possible.
I felt badly for our Public Works and Village Office staff having to read Ms. Wilson's article in the paper!  I have complete admiration for all those who helped Beiseker dig out.  My compliments to you all!

It should be noted that only one concerned citizen came to Monday night's council meeting.  I was impressed by her demeanor and logic.  She asked some excellent questions about snow removal, and I hope she received the answers she needed!  I thanked her for attending, and invited her back any time.


  1. well said Ray our sentiments exactly ty

  2. My phone calls were not answered NOR returned Ray. I called multiple times on the Thursday after the storm, as I was informed to do so so I could be put on Monday's town meeting agenda. My calls went unanswered.

    1. There must be an explanation for this. The staff reported that all calls had been responded to by Friday morning. I'll check into it.

  3. Thank you Ray, I look forward to hearing the explanation. It would also be awesome if you could find out why my husband was kicked out of the office as well (not very professional).

  4. Hi Kassia; I and Beiseker's Chief Administrative Officer have checked out the phone records and the voice mail for the week of December 2 to December 6. We found no multiple calls from anyone. There were no messages left unaccounted for on the village's voice mail system. I.m wondering if you were possibly calling one of the unmonitored lines (for example Public Works or the Campground) and that's why we have no record of your calls. I do apologise for the mix-up. If you wish to speak to council as a delegation, our next council meeting will be on Monday, January 13. Please phone the office at 403 947 3774 to arrange that.