Metro Group president disappointed by closure of two of the company's franchises

A worker shovels snow as a major winter storm hits Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

As Ottawa prepares for another weekend snowstorm, approximately 15-hundred residents in the west-end are looking for a new snowplow operator.

In a letter to the media, Metro Snow and Ice Group announced its Metro Barrhaven and Metro Merivale offices will close immediately.

The owner of the company says the reasons for the closure include a “substantial decrease in customers over the previous years,” and a “dramatic 300% increase in insurance costs, fuel costs and overall operating and equipment carrying costs.”

Metro Group President Ken Dale writes “it is profoundly humbling and disappointing that after 25 years in a very difficult industry we cannot service all of our valued clients this season.”

The letter suggests that after bankruptcy proceedings, “it is expected that pro rated refunds” will be “hopefully provided to affected clients from funds available in late Spring.

Metro Snow and Ice Group says the closure does not affect its Metro Westend offices, and will continue to service its customers all winter.

On Friday, the president of Metro Group spoke to CTV News OTtawa.

President Ken Dale says he is disappointed by the closure of two of the company’s snow plowing operations.

“I don’t feel great about this at all, you know nobody plans for this,” Dale said in a phone interview.

Asked about the pro-rated refund for Spring - Dale said that was still the goal. 

“There is a lot of excess equipment with the closing down of the business so the normal procedure is that would get liquidated and sold and the people involved would just figure out a pro-rated amount,” he said.

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