Price City: Move cars off streets during snowfall
When snow starts to fall and the streets and sidewalks become covered with white blankets of snow, residents will start shoveling, spreading salt and moving vehicles from the streets.
Or at least that is what Price City officials are hoping residents will be doing throughout the winter weather season.
According to Price City ordinance 97.002, it is unlawful for any person to park or leave any vehicle for a period of 24 hours after any freshly fallen snow on the streets of the city. Such period of time shall be designated as the period necessary for the Street Department of the city to remove snow for the public streets within the city.
The ordinance is nothing new or changed from years past, according to Gary Sonntag, public works director with Price City. But every year people need to be reminded of what to do, he said.
"This has been a problem for quite a while," he said.
The city is following a priority process that lists what areas and streets with public services that need to be cleared by their importance. Clearing the arterial routes in the city and access to hospitals and schools comes first, with other services including police and fire following it. Clearing neighborhood streets, dead-ends and cul-de-sacs and any other areas in the city is also in the priority process.
The ordinance may be listed in official terms, so Sonntag created a shorter, simple version: Watch the weather and remove and vehicles when it is threatening snow and until the snow is plowed.
When snow on the ground reaches anything more than two inches, plows are sent out to clear the streets and put down sand and salt. To clear all of the city streets of snow can take up to three days. But when noticeable amounts of snow falls on consecutive days, the city starts over the priority process to make sure the main roads and access to public services are cleared first
"Every time it snows, the city goes back to step one in the priority process," he said.
When snow fall is heavy, city crews plowing the roads can work anywhere from 10-16 hour shifts, Sonntag said. The city has four snow plows with salt spreaders and also uses trucks and ATVs to help clear other areas including streets and sidewalks.
Places in town, including Main Street, can be a difficult area for the city to plow, Sonntag said. Because there is no place to put all of the snow moved by city plows, snow can often accumulate in parking spots and near sidewalks.
Businesses and homeowners need to help out with clearing the sidewalks and place snow somewhere other than the street, Sonntag said. Both businesses and homeowners have pushed snow back out into the streets which can become a problem especially if a plow recently cleared the street.
"It just compounds the problem," he said, noting the added extra cost to the city to clean. "The city doesn't have the manpower or time to help clear every area. People need to help out as much as possible."
Instead of pushing the snow back out onto the street, Sonntag suggested that businesses and homeowners find a place on their property to place the snow, away from sidewalks and driveways.
If residents are going to be absent when the snow falls and their car is still on the street, make arrangements with someone to move it until the streets are fully cleared, Sonntag said. Also, if a person has a disability, develop plans to help them out if they request it.
The city is ready for the snow, with plenty of salt and trucks all ready for the call to clear the streets, Sonntag said.
While moving cars off city streets until the plows have made their way through an area can be a hassle, planning ahead for the snow can help alleviate the problems that can come up.
"Everyone just needs to plan ahead for the snowfall when it happens," he said.