Erin spent $17,700 on snow removal, grass fires up

The Town of Erin spent about $17,700 on downtown snow removal last winter.

Council received a report from town administration providing an overview of the roads department activities for the first half of 2021. Town staff have received 2,163 calls for service, which alarmed Coun. John Brennan.

“A lot of people are home, and I think a lot of requests are higher this year than last year,” said Nick Colucci, director of infrastructure services and engineer. “This is every service requesting from a plow hitting a mailbox to a dead skunk on the road. We have a lot of different service requests.”

Colucci said there are about 300 work orders a month. Each requires a different amount of time and work.

A contract has been awarded for repair work on Bridge 11, near Sideroad 17 and 8th Line. The station street bridge is complete, and town staff are working with the contractor for some minor outstanding items. They will begin the work before the end of July. The road will have to be closed for about six weeks.

Staff completed snow removal twice this winter. This work is conducted based on snow accumulating or at the request of the BIA and downtown businesses. Staff placed salt and sand in the sand dome for $91,000.

“After March 8, we didn’t have snow, so if we had snow in March, we’d probably have to go out one more time,” said Colucci. “We have a lot of freeze-thaw in February. That reduced the snow banks.”

Crews used the sidewalk machine to clear it 52 times, and a dust suppressant has been completed within budget.

Catch basin flushing work will begin this month and will take two weeks. The line work is underway and should be completed in two weeks, and street sweeping is finished.


Erin firefighters have reported 14 grass fires this year compared to only two last year and four in 2019.

Council received a report by fire chief Jim Sawkins on activities this year. Quarter reports are new to council.

“I would say it’s COVID and people at home,” said Sawkins. “They’re cleaning up their yards. The reality of it is, they’re not supposed to be burning. It is not part of the bylaw. It has increased our burning complaints and illegal fires.”

Residents burn various items, causing thick smoke for neighbours. There was a fire on a recently approved development left unattended. The department extinguished it.

Calls for medical assistance have declined, with 22 this year, 39 last year and 74 in 2019.

The downward trend is because of 24-hour coverage from locally stationed paramedics.

“We have the ambulance here 24/7, and we’re still under COVID protocols,” said Sawkins.

The fire chief previously presented monthly reports but changed over to the system in the New Year. The three-year comparison has remained relatively the same. However, Sawkins states data for Erin and Hillsburgh includes stations 10 and 50, and East Garafraxa covers Station 50.


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