City updates snowplowing policy; gets request for more helpThe mayor, public works director, police chief or city administrator will decide when to send the plow trucks out under a new snowplowing policy adopted by the Hudson City Council on Oct. 5.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The mayor, public works director, police chief or city administrator will decide when to send the plow trucks out under a new snowplowing policy adopted by the Hudson City Council on Oct. 5.
The criteria for making that decision, according to the policy, are:
1. The accumulation of two or more inches of snow;
2. Drifting snow that is causing travel problems;
3. Icy conditions that seriously affect travel; and
4. Snowfall during peak traffic periods.
The City Council’s Public Works Committee proposed the new two-and-a-half page policy, saying the old policy was outdated.
In addition to listing the personnel authorized to declare a snow emergency and the conditions for declaring one, the new policy addresses how the snow will be plowed and removed from streets; what streets will be given priority; the work schedule for snowplow drivers; weather conditions; the use of sand, salt and chemicals; sidewalks; emergency situations; the plowing of private property; and cooperation with the state, county and neighboring townships.
The council removed a section on damage to personal property from the policy before adopting it. City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick said the section needed more work.
It said that only personal property “installed properly and allowed by city ordinance to be adjacent to streets, and damaged by actual contact with city equipment,” would be considered for repair or replacement at city expense.
It also eliminated compensation to owners for damaged trees, shrubbery, landscaping and illegally parked vehicles.
Public Works and Parks Director Tom Zeuli asked the council for part-time workers to assist with sidewalk shoveling and other related work.
In a memo to council members, Zeuli said a crew of 13 or more workers is required to clear the city’s streets and sidewalks of snow in a timely manner.
The department has only nine workers, he said, and one of those is the mechanic who is often pulled off his route to repair equipment.
Three Water Utility workers also assist with snowplowing.
Zeuli said Waste Water Treatment Plant employees are no longer available to assist with the effort.
Zeuli said City Administrator Devin Willi was looking into whether contracting for snow removal services or having non-union workers help with snow removal would violate the contract between the city and its Public Works employees.