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Snow removal policy gets changes

by Michael Mattison

There have been some changes to the Winthrop City Code in regards to snow removal. The changes are to get the streets of Winthrop cleared faster. “We want to have curb-to-curb plowing within 12 hours,” said City Administrator Michael Looft. How we accomplish that is that we make sure that vehicles are off the street so that the city crew can get that done.” Looft said that the crew have tried to get this accomplished at night. “We are trying to get it done after midnight so it doesn’t disrupt normal business. He added that snowfall dictates when it can best be done so if snowfalls over an inch during the day will prompt the crew to get out earlier. Once a snow emergency is declared residents have 12 hours to get their cars off the road. Snow emergencies are listed on the city’s website. Another change is with the clearing of sidewalks. There was no mention of snow removal on sidewalks in the old policy. Property owners will now have 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling to have their sidewalks cleared. Citations or warnings will be given depending on the severity of the situation. There is also the possibility that the vehicle could be towed. “If it is a light snow we are going to do what is in the best interest of the general public. We are trying to work with people to get off the street.” Looft said that the on-street vehicles during the snows have been pretty good. “The crew has appreciated people getting off the street and their (garbage) bins taken inside.” In March 2020, the City Council removed the snow removal out of the city code and made it a policy. Policies are not legally enforcable. At the last regular meeting of the Council, it revamped the policy before putting it back in the City Code. A second reading will be held at the February regular meeting and it will go into effect after that.

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