As the winter season arrives and the snow starts to accumulate on streets, driveways, sidewalks and in every other nook and cranny, East Carbon City councilors are hoping residents will do their part in shoveling and moving snow. Just not out into the middle of the street.
City councilors unanimously adopted a snow removal ordinance that makes it unlawful for any people or businesses to push snow out into the streets.
In section B of the ordinance it says, "it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to place, transfer, or deposit snow, ice or mud more than three feet into any public street as measured from the edge of the street."
The ordinance also has included within it a penalty for those violating the ordinance. Section C says, "any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor."
East Carbon already has an ordinance regarding snow removal but this version, which is being adapted from Helper's snow removal ordinance, is just adding onto what was already in the city code.
By moving snow onto the streets it can clog the roadway turning some of them into just one lane streets. Many residents in the area use four-wheelers to push the snow out of driveways and sidewalks in front of homes. Some people have created big mounds of snow that eventually, if not taken care of immediately, turn into big mounds of ice, said Councilor James Wayman. That in turn can cause problems for nearby neighbors and the city plows making it harder to clear up the area.
"Once it (big mound of snow) freezes, it's a done deal," said Wayman.
Wayman said that the city plows the streets and tries to get them cleared as quickly as possible. But some residents use snow blowers, four-wheelers and shovels to push the snow out into the middle of the road when cleaning around their homes or businesses. That causes the need for the city to send a plow out to the area to clear the street multiple times.
"Why would you blow the snow into the road?" said Wayman. "Why would you shovel it out into the street?"
East Carbon Police Chief Sam Leonard said there have been winters in past years where the amount of snow that falls causes the roads to turn into one lane streets, even with the city plowing the city streets. Some streets are very narrow, including Grassy Trail, and the snow makes the street even smaller.
"There will be one-way streets in the city during some winters," said Leonard.
Councilors also talked of the importance of making sure that sidewalks are cleared, especially in the case of children walking around town. They are looking to avoid having a situation with snow covering the sidewalks and children having to walk along the street to get to school or back home.
Finding a place for snow to be placed was another question the council looked at. Wayman said he wants the gutters to be considered storage for the snow. While that is a logical place to put snow, councilors also want to avoid the possibility of clogging the gutters. Section A of the ordinance says, "it shall be unlawful for any person removing snow from the sidewalk, to deposit snow, dirt, leaves or any other material in the gutter so as to clog or prevent the free flow of water therein."
With all of the new information and terms included within the ordinance, Councilor David Avery said he didn't want the ordinance to be confusing to residents and wants to make sure the city focuses on those people and businesses who throw or use snow blowers to push snow out into the streets.
With the updated ordinance, Wayman is hoping that residents will decide to put the snow somewhere out of the way of the street and sidewalks.
"This is really something good," said Wayman. "We just want to stop the people who are pushing and blowing snow into the street."