Snow Plowing

City PlowThe City will provide reasonable ice and snow control in a safe and cost effective manner; keeping in mind safety, budget, personnel and environmental concerns. 

When Will the City Start Snow or Ice Control Operations?

The Public Works Director, Foreman or responsible person will decide when to begin snow or ice control operations. The criteria for that decision is:

  • Snow accumulation of 3 inches (not a minimum) or more
  • Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel
  • Icy conditions which seriously affect travel
  • Time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use of streets.

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 less than 3 inches.

How Will the Snow be Plowed?

Snow will be plowed in a manner so as to minimize any traffic obstruction. 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 street. When a plow goes on a bridge, the driver shall slow down, so that snow does not go over the bridge if possible. In times of extreme snowfall, center lanes may be the only part of the street cleared, until employees catch up and can completely clear the street of all snow. Cul-de-sac entries are plowed along with residential streets. Cul-de-sac turn-arounds are plowed with traffic flow for safety of operator and residents.

Priorities and Schedule for Which Streets Will be Plowed

The City has classified streets based on the street function, traffic volume and importance to the welfare of the community. Those streets are classified, as "Snow Plow Routes" will be plowed first. These are high volume, which connect major sections of the city and provide access for emergency, fire, police and medical services.

The second priority streets are those streets providing access to schools and commercial businesses, low volume residential streets, alleys and city parking lots.

Weather Conditions

Snow and ice control operations will be conducted only when weather conditions do not endanger the safety of city employees and equipment. Factors that may delay snow and ice control operations include; severe cold, significant winds and limited visibility.

Use of Sand, Salt and Other Chemicals

The city will use sand, salt and other chemicals when there are hazardous ice or slippery conditions. The city is concerned about the effect of such chemicals on the environment and will limit its use for that reason.

Sidewalks - Bike Paths

The city will remove snow from some of the sidewalks and bike paths in the city. The list of those sidewalks and bike paths can be received from the Public Works Department by calling 258-7339. As there are a limited number of personnel available, the city will remove snow from these sidewalks-bike paths as time allows.  Due to the use of different staff and equipment in plowing streets vs. trails, snow removal from trails may start while street plowing is still occurring.  Streets are our top priority for snow removal, but all of our plows can be out and separate equipment can be used on trails and sidewalks.