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Town reminds residents to get their vehicles off the streets after large snowfalls

From Nov. 21-24, 31 tickets were issued and five vehicles towed
WES - 2021 Snow removal
Town of Westlock’s community peace officer and snow removal crews were optimistic following the Nov. 20 dump of snow which blanketed Westlock as no cars were parked on the street which allowed crews to do their jobs. However, the following days saw vehicles return to the streets which led to 31 tickets being issued, five vehicles towed and 11 warnings.

WESTLOCK – Nobody was happy after Westlock’s first big snowfall of the year, except for Town of Westlock peace officers and snow removal crews.

Both were met with a pleasant surprise that morning when not a single vehicle was parked along the streets or in the way of graders and trucks working to remove 20 centimetres of snow.

However, Nov. 21-24 told a different story, with 31 tickets issued, 11 warnings and five vehicles needing to be towed.

Community peace officer Randy Burgess says it was disappointing to see the community do so well on the first day, but fall apart afterwards, especially after the town has put a lot of effort into raising awareness.

“The first day we thought we were maybe getting somewhere with this because there were absolutely no vehicles parked on the roads that were marked for snow removal,” said Burgess. “It gave us a false sense that we were getting somewhere.”

Graders and snow removal trucks in town follow set routes to efficiently clear snow, however if there are vehicles parked in their path they cannot proceed without first clearing the way. This requires community peace officers to issue tickets then remove the vehicle by contacting a tow truck. It’s a time-consuming process and delays snow removal.

Parking tickets are issued at $120 with additional costs ranging from $150-250 for towing and impoundment based on the type of vehicle and how long it remains in the yard.

“We don’t have the time to go door-to-door. We put the signs around for that purpose because we just don’t have the time when there’s immediate snow removal needed,” added Burgess.

The snow removal process alternates between streets and avenues, ensuring that parking is available on one while the other is being cleared. Burgess says this process is to allow residents to park their vehicles within a block of their home.

Snow removal maps are posted on on the local notices page as well as on the town's social media pages. Alerts are also sent through the Westlock Regional Notification System regarding snow removal and routes as well.

“The biggest part of snow removal and what residents don’t always understand is that the snow removal process is much bigger than just the grader coming to grade your street. There’s a lot of moving parts involved,” said Burgess, who hopes to see more days like Nov. 20 and less like Nov. 21-24.

Spencer Kemp-Boulet,

Spencer Kemp-Boulet

About the Author: Spencer Kemp-Boulet

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