Municipalities concerned about winter sidewalk salting

(BlackburnNews.com file photo by John Chippa)

Lambton delegates at the recent Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Ottawa asked for a delay in a new law implemented in May, that would end up costing taxpayers more.

St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold said under the legislation, municipalities will have to salt and/or sand all sidewalks starting this winter.

“It was implemented long past our budget-making time,” said Arnold. “We asked the ministry where the money was supposed to come from. We’ve asked them to stall the implementation until next year and at least have time to prepare for it.”

Arnold said that will give them time to come up with possible alternatives to corroding salt and messy sand.

“You have all that debris from the sand and if you use salt you have salt damage to lawns and trees, and that’s not right. There needs to be more consultation and research on this,” he said.

Arnold said an estimated 800,000 tonnes of salt is already making its way into the Great Lakes and the legislation would add another five per cent to that.