B.C. police stop farmer clearing snowy street with Zamboni

Vancouver | Reuters — Police stopped a “well-intentioned” farmer on Vancouver Island on Monday night after he tried to clear a snowed-in neighbourhood street with a Zamboni, a vehicle for cleaning ice rinks and a fixture in arenas across Canada.

Central Saanich police spokesman Dan Cottingham said on Tuesday the man told them he had bought the machine secondhand to drive around and spread fertilizer on his farm, about 15 km north of Victoria.

“I think he had good intentions and just because of the height of the snow he thought he would go out and help,” Cottingham said.

The man was sent home with a warning for driving an unlicensed vehicle on a public road.

The Victoria Times Colonist on Tuesday identified the farmer as Marko Kardum of Central Saanich, who told the newspaper he got the Zamboni via an online auction for $300 and took it out to clear a steep cul-de-sac for his aunt to exit her driveway.

A Zamboni, named after its inventor, Frank Zamboni, looks like a modified tractor with a large reservoir at the front to store snow that its conveyor system picks up as the machine drives along.

Another Central Saanich officer told the Times Colonist that while a Zamboni could clear off a top layer of snow, it could flatten the bottom layer, which could then harden into ice if the temperature dropped.

Canada’s southwestern coast, which is more accustomed to heavy rain in winter, has had record levels of snow this winter, sparking complaints from residents over unplowed roads causing slippery driving conditions.

Reporting for Reuters by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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