On May 1, I posted a short poll for residents to provide feedback on the City’s snow clearing service related to driveway windrows. The results indicated that 57% of residents did not want to enhance the current level of service by providing driveway windrow clearing citywide at an annual operating cost of $11.6 million.

The survey included the preamble below, and asked one key question: What is your preference when it comes to Windrow Clearing in Mississauga?  The results are shown in the graph below.

Background: The City of Mississauga’s current winter maintenance contract for snow clearing does not include citywide clearing of driveway windrows (the pile of snow left at the end of private driveways after the plow clears the road). Council is considering adding this service starting in 2024 and will be making a decision at the May 3 Budget Committee meeting. Including this service would add an annual operational cost of $11.6 million to the contract (or about a .75% increase to your current property tax bill), plus a one-time cost of $8.0 million in 2024 to purchase land in order to store the required additional equipment.

A staff report has been prepared for Council’s deliberation. It offers important considerations, beyond funding, to take into account such as the inequality of service provision (those in condos, apartments, townhomes or on cul de sacs will NOT be eligible and yet still pay for this), vehicles parked on the lower boulevard preventing service, vehicles parked on the street inhibiting service, garbage collection impacts, and more. If you have a chance to read the report, please do. (It speaks to two other enhanced levels of service for consideration but this survey asks only about windrow removal.)
The City does currently offer a Driveway Windrow Clearing Program for seniors and those with mobility issues, with a cap of 300 properties. Staff could increase this limit to 750 properties in the future at a nominal cost of about $150,000.
An option to permit residents to opt-in to windrow removal with a ‘pay for service’ funding model is not being considered as it would be overly cumbersome from an administrative and operational perspective.
On Wednesday, May 3, members of Council considered a staff report with options, including costing, around enhancing the winter maintenance contract in three areas:
  • Citywide driveway windrow clearing
  • Citywide clearing of secondary sidewalks
  • Citywide snow removal of bike lane infrastructure

Following several hours of questions and debate, Council voted not to increase service in any of the three areas. Council did vote to expand the current Driveway Windrow Clearing program to a maximum of 750 properties, up from 300 in previous years.