The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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April 3, 2014

City eyes snow policy tweaks

CLINTON – The Gateway area just endured a winter of historic proportions. City leaders have already started analyzing policy to see if snow removal measures need changes.

The snow removal discussion between the Clinton City Council and City Administrator Jessica Kinser arose for three separate issues this week. They discussed possible alterations to calendar parking and increased emergency routes during the Rules and Regulations committee meeting Tuesday, and heard one resident’s safety concerns the following afternoon.

The resident — Jim Luce of Bluff Boulevard — questioned if safer measures were in order for the sidewalk abutting his home. He said the route is difficult to clear since the walkway is so close to the street that passing snow plows inevitably dump more slush on his freshly shoveled sidewalks.

Luce worried that he might be fined by Clinton for not properly maintaining his property and raised the issue of safety for walkers using the sidewalk.

“I doubt that it is a legal sidewalk,” Luce said. “There must be laws that state that for safety that a street shouldn’t be built so close to a residence.”

Luce asked if the city would consider removing the snow itself. Kinser said declining staff makes that unlikely.

“I really don’t have any solution,” Kinser said. “We’re no longer staffed at the same levels that we were before.”

Councilman Grant Wilke assured Luce the city would continue to analyze the issue along with other routes that might have the same problem.

The calendar parking matter also related to staffing, Kinser said. Current statutes delegate parked cars need to follow the city code from midnight to 8 a.m. But with fewer trucks out and about, Kinser said the city doesn’t have enough night crews to clear the vacant street sides.

“For the most part, in most neighborhoods, we’re not able to get out and clear it prior to snow removal for the next day,” said Kinser, proposing the city look into aligning calendar parking for when trucks are more likely to be available.

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