Masked City of Trail employees Derrick Simister and John Harper are making room for a third window installation at the Trail Memorial Centre, while adhering to the mandatory masks policy put into effect two weeks ago by the city. Photo: Jim Bailey

Masked City of Trail employees Derrick Simister and John Harper are making room for a third window installation at the Trail Memorial Centre, while adhering to the mandatory masks policy put into effect two weeks ago by the city. Photo: Jim Bailey

Trail council makes masks mandatory, approves new plow truck

City in need of a new plow truck after motor goes during the year’s first snowfall last month

Trail council agreed to modify the municipal policy manual last week, by making masks mandatory for all employees and contractors when interacting with each other or the public, both indoors and out.

“As a local government, it is critically important that the city take appropriate action to protect employees, the public and contractors,” said Perehudoff.

“The policy developed is seen to be comprehensive and also felt to be ‘best practice.’”

Related read: Tighter recreation restrictions for Trail

The new policy dictates that all City of Trail employees, contractors and members of the public are required to wear non-medical face masks in City Hall, the Public Works Building and Yard, the Trail Memorial Centre, the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre (TALC), the Trail Riverfront Centre and Trail & District RCMP Detachment.

If staff are working in their own work space, are separated by a barrier such as Plexiglas, or maintain social distancing, then a mask is not mandatory but ‘strongly recommended’.

Plow problem

Trail council needed to shore up its plow truck capacity after one of its snow-plows broke down last month.

Council approved the amendment to the 2020 capital budget that clears the way for the purchase of a new 5-ton plow/dump truck worth over $265,000.

The funds are to be furnished by the city’s equipment replacement reserve or general capital revenue depending on final financial results realized in 2020.

The original plow truck, Unit 919, was purchased in 2007 and is one of three plow trucks owned and operated by the city. Unit 919 broke down during the first major snowfall of 2020 back in early November.

The City of Trail is in need of a new single-axle plow truck for the coming winter. Photo: Jenna Hauk.

The City of Trail is in need of a new single-axle plow truck for the coming winter. Photo: Jenna Hauk.

Further inspection determined that the city would have to replace the motor at a cost of about $50,000, not including other maintenance and installation expenses.

The truck’s age, failing parts, and overall maintenance costs, which have totalled nearly $300,000 since its purchase, has made fixing the unit fiscally irresponsible.

In addition, Trail staff contacted all known truck and plow dealers in B.C. and determined there was only one single-axle 5-ton plow truck currently available for purchase.

The pandemic has also slowed down production and single-axle plow trucks are hard to come by, with the estimated wait time to be six to eight months or more for delivery.

“This is a critical piece of equipment that the city is hoping to obtain as quickly as possible and for use during the 2020/21 winter season,” said Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff. “Trying to repair 919 is not seen to be fiscally responsible and purchasing a new unit is clearly in the best interest of the city.”

Read more: Pandemic news

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