The City of Corner Brook says it will be ensuring its fire hydrants are cleared of snow this winter, despite a contest urging residents to do the work.
As of Thursday afternoon, residents of Corner Brook have registered to be responsible for 109 of the 729 fire hydrants scattered throughout the city as part of the new Adopt-a-Hydrant program.
The idea is that anyone taking responsibility for clearing snow from a hydrant in their neighbourhood can be eligible for weekly $50 gift cards from various local businesses and have their name entered for a grand-prize draw of a new snowblower at the end of the season.
Participants are asked to submit photos of their cleared hydrants after each significant snowfall.
Todd Flynn, the city’s director of protective services, said the idea is to lighten the workload of the city’s outside workers who would otherwise have to do the work.
The city used to hire a private contractor to do snow removal from fire hydrants. When that wasn’t working out as the city had hoped, the job recently reverted back to the city’s outside workers.
“That was OK, but they have a lot of other stuff to be doing and this would make it easier if others were doing it, too,” said Flynn. “This contest sweetens the pot to get more residents clearing hydrants.”
The city still handles the clearing of hydrants yet to be adopted and does check on the volunteer work done by residents to make sure it meets the standard set out as part of the Adopt-a-Hydrant program.
Flynn said there are hydrants on each street that are considered a priority and, while these are still done first, the city goes back and clears any remaining hydrants when time and resources allow for it.
Flynn is surprised to see so much interest in the new program just three weeks into it and said he hopes to see residents adopt around 25 per cent — or around 182 — of the hydrants around Corner Brook.
“From what we’ve seen so far, people have been doing a great job clearing hydrants,” he said.
For more information, including a map of what hydrants have been adopted and what ones are still available, visit http://www.cornerbrook.com/adoptahydrant/