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Port Clements council moves to get new sand for winter roadways

O’Brien Road and Bridge Maintenance donated the new sand mixture
O’Brien Road & Bridge Maintenance is responsible for maintenance of Highway 16 on Haida Gwaii and in Prince Rupert, up to 50 kilometres towards Terrace. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Port Clements road users may notice a new type of sand being used on the village’s streets.

After a community member approached the office, concerned about the liability of using poor quality sand on the roadways, mayor Scott Cabianca offered to donate a better quality sand mixture from O’Brien Road and Bridge Maintenance.

On Dec. 5, during the regular council meeting, council moved to accept the donation, Marjorie Dobson, chief administrative officer said.

A mix of sand and pebbles is good for driving during potentially slippery conditions, a report to council stated. Based on standards set by the province, maintenance teams for provincial roads use a carefully prepared mixture with pebbles that are a specific size.

However, the mixture the village has been using has not gone through such a vigorous process with variable-sized rocks and pebbles.

Dobson recommended that the council either accept the donation, purchase screens to filter the existing material or sign an agreement for O’Brien Road and Bridge Maintenance to supply the village with their winter road material moving forward.

Council chose the first option.

Staff have encountered problems with the village’s sand material over the past few years, Dobson’s report stated.

“The need to upgrade from the village’s perspective has been on the agenda for some time.”

The village has a donation policy that explains how donations are dealt with when they are received or requested. According to the policy, they may choose not to accept a donation if it is a potential contravention or conflict of interest as it could be a burden for the village to maintain or handle or if it will create costs for the village, the policy states.

The prospective donation was brought to council in line with the policy.