The severity of the weather will affect how quickly crews can start clearing and salting the roads.

Algonquin Highlands Township approved changes to the Minimum Maintenance Standards, allowing municipalities to declare a significant weather event.

With that change in place, municipalities have the ability to declare a significant weather event and temporarily allow the workers to delay snow clearing. Adam Thorne, the Director of Public Works, says the declaring a significant weather event is done by the four municipalities and a representative at the county level. They base their decision on what the forecasted weather looks like, how much snow is expected and overall if sending crews out would be unsafe.

In order for a municipality to declare an event, it needs to do one or more of the following: post to the municipal website and social media pages, send out a press release, send out a notification through local police services, notify the CAO and mayor, and finally notify the school board.

Thorne details in a report provided to council, during a weather event road maintenance may continue but could be suspended depending on the nature of the weather hazard.

In his report, Thorne gives the example that in a weather event, crews continue to work at clearing roads after declaring a significant weather event but can stop working if the conditions are deemed hazardous.