Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel's suggestion to look at contracting out more snow removal rather than buying extra equipment isn't gaining traction with city officials.
Mandel asked staff last week to investigate whether the city could reduce a proposed $8.5-million purchase of trucks, loaders and snowblower attachments to help improve winter road clearing by hiring private companies instead.
But a city report released Tuesday indicated there's no proven cost saving from such a move and it couldn't be done in time for next winter.
Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association guidelines indicate a rate of $185 an hour for a truck and driver, compared to $75 to run a city sander-plow truck, the report said. New trucks are needed to haul asphalt as part of Edmonton's growing neighbourhood road rehabilitation program, and there isn't much spare equipment around in the winter, it said.
"Other than the sander-plows used by highway maintenance contractors, there are no sander-plows available to contract at this time."
About 40 per cent of this year's snow removal budget is already expected to be spent hiring contractors, who do half of Edmonton's street plowing and 60 per cent of sidewalk cleaning.
"Tendering of a contract for inclusive services for a portion of the city, plowing and sanding of all road classes, would require significant time to explore," the report said.
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