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Athabasca County looking for snow plowing efficiencies

Administration directed to disregard policy for six months to test better service delivery for driveways
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Athabasca County council has given CAO Chris Parker six months to play with, so to speak, the snow ploughing of residential driveways to see if there may be efficiencies, he can report back to council.

ATHABASCA — Usually a policy is black and white with very little wiggle room, but for the next six months that will change for residential driveway snow plowing in Athabasca County.

At the Dec. 13 regular meeting Athabasca County council gave CAO Chris Parker the leeway to experiment with different service models to try and produce efficiencies in the delivery of the service. 

“There's been some minor changes to how we handle snow plowing and one of the many things I think we can be proud of is we've given administration the discretion – through just a motion, we haven't changed policy – but we said we're going to free you from the constraints of this for six months while you test different ways to deliver the service better,” reeve Brian Hall said in a Dec. 28 interview. 

While the policy covers everything, there may be extraordinary circumstances where adherence to the policy may, in fact, decrease efficiency and create poor service delivery. 

“Policies are there to set black and white guidelines, but we've given (administration) the option to try something different, where it makes sense to use good judgment and common sense,” said Hall. “How do we get this done in a better way more efficiently that makes more people happy more quickly?” 

Administration will keep track of the changes and report back to council by the end of May 2023 with the results and any recommendations to improve the policy. 

“Hopefully, they'll come back with some ideas in the spring that we can then modify the policy to incorporate what's been successful and leave out what didn't work,” he said. 

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