Town revised snow and ice removal policy

By Rudy Hemmann
The Surveyor

An updated policy for snow and ice removal from town streets and sidewalks was offered by the public works department at the town board meeting held Feb. 9.

The document, which was presented by Director of Public Works Stephanie Brothers, deals mainly with the town’s snow removal policies.

In a brief lead-in on the topic, Town Administrator Mike Hart informed the board that during previous discussions of the snow removal policy the town’s Parks and Recreation Department, which also has some responsibilities for removing snow from sidewalks adjacent to parks, from town trails, etc., was left out of the loop.

It was then decided to update the entire document. Included in the document are maps which illustrate the priority levels of various streets in the town limits. According to the information presented in the document, priority-one streets are the town’s major arterial streets. Also included in the category are streets which provide access for emergency services, such as fire stations, ambulances and the police department.

Priority-two streets are those designated as primary collectors. These are streets which connect major arterial streets to residential streets. Other streets that fall into this category are those that have sections requiring special attention due to chronic icing problems at hills, curves and intersections that are likely to cause accidents.

Priority-three streets are residential through-streets and loop streets. Snow-plowing operations should not be expected on cul-de-sac streets due to there not being an outlet for the plow trucks.

The document features charts listing the priority-one and priority-two streets as well as identifying them with color-coded maps.

Winter storm categories are also mentioned:

Category one snow: predicted snowfall from a trace to two inches. The efforts for this type storm are mostly sanding operations on hills, curves, and primary intersections.

Category two snow: predicted snowfall from two to six inches. Priority-one and priority-two routes will be maintained during the storm and priority-three streets will receive service.

Category three snow: predicted snowfall from six to 12 inches. Priority-one and priority-two routes will be maintained during the storm; however, priority-two streets may be delayed depending on weather conditions. Streets with lower priority will receive service after it stops snowing.

Category four snow – predicted snowfall over 12 inches. Priority-one routes remain passable during the storm. Priority-two routes to be plowed after priority-one streets are fully opened and passable. Priority-three streets may be plowed after the storm.

Of interest to town residents is section nine, titled “Resident/Business Owner Responsibilities.”

The document states, “Clear snow from sidewalks as soon as possible, but not longer than 24 hours after snow has ceased to fall. This is to prevent snow from turning into an icy hazard for pedestrians, or forcing them to walk in the street.

“Do not place snow removed from residential driveways, business lots or sidewalks onto the street.”

Shoveled snow (or snow removed with a mechanical device) should only be piled on private property. It may also be placed on parks or open space, but again, not on a sidewalk, parking lot, or other site which may be frequented by the public.

The document also suggests clearing snow from around fire hydrants and mail boxes in the interest of safety.

Regarding ice on sidewalks, the position of the town police is as follows; As long as the home or business owner is taking efforts to mitigate the situation by spreading sand and/or ice-melting chemicals on icy areas, the owner will not be ticketed.