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City of Lawton — Ordinance 2018-06 (Snowplowing & Ice Control)

City of Lawton

WHEREAS, the City of Lawton annually budgets funds for and assumes basic responsibility for control of snow and ice on public streets; and,

WHEREAS, the City will provide snow and ice control for routine travel and emergency services in an effort to serve the greatest number of vehicles possible, given safety, budget, personnel and environmental constraints; and,

WHEREAS, the City will make every responsible effort to best utilize its City employees and equipment to provide this service; and,

WHEREAS, the City understands that private contractors may be employed to assist in providing this service in extreme situations.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Lawton, Iowa, as follows:

SECTION 1.  Commencement of Operations.  Snow Plowing and/or ice control operations shall commence under the direction of the Public Works Director.  In his absence, the Director’s designated representative will confer with the Director or City Administrator to determine when and where operations will begin in accordance with the following criteria:
a) Snow accumulation of 2-inces or more;
b) Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel;
c) Icy conditions which seriously affect travel; and,
d) Time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use of streets (i.e.  weekday a.m. and p.m. commuter periods).

Snow and ice control operations are expensive and involve the use of limited personnel and equipment.  Consequently snowplowing operations will not generally be conducted for snowfall of less than 1 inch.

SECTION 2.  Snow Plowing Procedures.  Snow will be plowed in a manner so as to provide access as soon as possible and to minimize any traffic obstructions.  The center of the roadway will be plowed first.  The snow shall then be pushed from left to right.  The discharge shall go onto the boulevard area of the right-of-way.  Streets and cul-de-sacs are initially plowed with a single pass to open all routes as soon as possible.  It is the Public Works Department’s goal to have the entire street system cleaned after a “typical” snowfall in approximately 24 hours.  Depending on snowfall conditions and duration of the storm, streets will not always immediately be able to be completely cleared of snow.

SECTION 3.  Suspension of Operations.  Generally, operators will continue until all routes are passable.  Widening and cleanup operations may continue immediately or on the following work day depending on conditions and circumstances.  Safety of the plow operators and the public is important.  Therefore, snowplowing/removal operations may be terminated after 10-12 hours to allow personnel adequate time for rest.  There may be instances where this is not possible depending on storm conditions and other circumstances.  Operations may also be suspended during periods of limited visibility, significant winds or severe cold so as to not jeopardize the safety of city employees and equipment.  Any decision to suspend operations shall be made by the Public Works Director based on the conditions of the storm.  The City will still provide access for emergency fire, police and medical services on an “as-needed” basis during a major snow or ice storm.

SECTION 4. Use of Sand and Salt.  The City is concerned about the effect of salt and sand on the environment and will limit its use for that reason.  Therefore it is the policy of the City to utilize salt and sand at locations where there are hazardous or slippery conditions.  This provides for traction but is not intended to provide bare pavement during winter conditions.  The City will not be responsible for damage to grass caused by salt and sand and therefore will not make repairs or compensate residents for salt and sand damage to turf areas in the right-of-way.

SECTION 5.  Property Damage.  Snow plowing and ice control operations can cause property damage even under the best of circumstances and care on the part of the operators.  The major types of damage are to improvements in the City right-of-way, which extends approximately 10’ to 15’ beyond the curb location.  The intent of the right-of-way is to provide room for snow storage, utilities, sidewalks and other city uses.  However, certain private improvements such as mailboxes, landscaping and other private installations are located within this area.

a) Mailboxes — Mailboxes should be constructed sturdily enough to withstand snow rolling off a plow or wing.  While the installation of mailboxes on the city right-of-way is permitted, the mailbox owner assumes all risk of damage except when a mailbox is damaged through contact by a plow blade, wing, or other piece of equipment.  If a mailbox is damaged due to direct contact by snow plowing equipment, the City, at its option, will repair or replace the mailbox at a cost not to exceed $50.00.  Damage resulting from snow rolling off a plow or wing is the responsibility of the resident.

b) Landscaping — Property owners should assume all risk of damage for landscaping including nursery and inanimate materials that are installed or encroach on City right-of-way.  The City assumes no responsibility for damage incurred to these non-permitted elements as a result of snow plowing and ice control activities with the exception that lawns that are scraped or gouged by City equipment will be repaired by top dressing and seeding the following spring.  In addition, inanimate materials such as boulders, timber, etc. are a hazard and can cause damage to plow equipment.

c) Other Private Installations—Other Private Installations – The City will assume no responsibility for underground lawn sprinkling systems, exterior lighting systems, underground electronic dog fences or any other non-permitted features privately installed in City right-of-way.

SECTION 6.  Snow Storage/Wing Plowing.  Ongoing snow and ice control efforts require the use of the entire City right-of-way and easement areas for storage of plowed snow.  Depending on the volume of snow, available storage within the right-of-way can become limited and/or create sight obstructions.  Since it is financially impossible and impractical to remove snow from all boulevards and intersection corners, the City, at the Public Works Director’s direction will “wing plow” snow banks along the right –of-way.  This winging operation results in snow being pushed farther back onto the right-of-way area.

SECTION 7. Driveways.  One of the most frequent and most irritable problems in removal of snow from the public streets is the snow deposited in driveways during plowing operations.  Snow that accumulates on the plow blade has no place to go but in the driveway.  Snowplow operators make every attempt to minimize the amount of snow deposited in driveways, but the snow can still be significant.  Based on the priorities and staffing level, City personnel cannot provide driveway cleaning due to possible damage that could be done to driveways.  Possible exceptions are at the discretion of the Public Works Director for emergency situations.

SECTION 8.  Mail Delivery.  Snowplow operators make every effort to remove snow as close to the curb line as practical and to provide access to mailboxes for the Postal Department.  However, it is not possible to provide perfect conditions and minimize the damage to mailboxes with the size and type of equipment the City operates.  Therefore, the final cleaning adjacent to mailboxes is the responsibility of each resident.

SECTION 9.  Complaints.  Complaints regarding snow and ice removal or damage will be taken during normal working hours and handled in accordance with the City’s complaint procedures.  Complaints involving access to property or problems requiring immediate attention will be handled on a priority basis.  Response time should not exceed twenty-four (24) hours for any complaint.  It should be understood that complaint responses are to ensure that the provisions of this policy have been fulfilled and that all residents of the City have been treated uniformly.

SECTION 10.  All resolutions or parts of resolutions in conflict herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.
PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 3rd day of October, 2018.

Dale R. Erickson, Mayor

Carla Eidenshink, City Clerk

Published in The Record
Thursday, October 11, 2018

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