Determination of Need and Introduction
The Mayor and the City Council of the City of Savage have determined that it is in the best interest of the residents of the City to assume basic responsibility for control of snow and ice on streets within the jurisdiction of the City. Appropriate snow and ice control is necessary for emergency services as well as routine travel. Providing this service in a cost-effective manner is a discretionary decision of the City Council. The City will use City employees, equipment and/or contract services as deemed appropriate to provide this service. Therefore, the Snow and Ice Control Policy is needed to provide direction for these operations and guidelines for employees and residents based upon available resources.
This policy is intended to provide guidelines for snow and ice control operations for streets under the City's jurisdiction. These consist of collector streets, minor arterial streets, residential streets, cul-de-sacs and alleys. Sidewalks and public facilities are also incorporated into the Snow & Ice Control Program.
Commencement of Operations
Snow plowing and/or ice control operations will commence under the direction of the Public Works Director and/or the designated official (Public Works Superintendent).
The basis of dispatch calling the standby person to start operations will be as follows:
Storms forecast for late afternoon or evening hours may be the basis for splitting a shift and sending crews home for call out later in the evening. Morning storms, likewise, may be the basis for requesting crews to report at later than normal hours.
Suspension of Operations
Operations will continue until all roads are passable. Widening and cleanup operations may continue immediately or on the following working day depending upon conditions and circumstances. Safety of the plow operators and the public is important. Therefore, snow plowing/removal operations may be terminated after 10-12 hours to allow personnel adequate time for rest. There may be instances when this is not possible depending on storm conditions and other circumstances. Operations may also be suspended during periods of limited or zero visibility. Any decision to suspend operations will be made by the Public Works Director and/or Public Works Superintendent based on the conditions of the storm.
Plow Routes and Sequencing
The Public Works Director has the responsibility of determining plow routes and sequencing of operations. The superintendent will retain the latitude to adjust sequencing or route assignments based on storm conditions warranting changes.
Collector and arterial streets are plowed first, then minor arterial streets. Roadways not integral to the movement of traffic (cul-de-sacs, dead-end streets and alleys) are plowed last. Sidewalks, trails, and public facilities are typically plowed in conjunction with the overall snow removal operation.
The Collector streets are as follows:
The Sidewalk/Trail Policy
The City will clear snow from sidewalks within the public rights-of-way that front public facilities within 24 hours of a snow event. Sidewalks within public rights-of-way that do not have front or side lot access by abutting property owners will be cleared by the City within 48 hours of a snow event.
All other sidewalks in the City are the responsibility of the abutting property owner and must be cleared within 24 hours of a snow event of 2" or greater accumulation, in accordance with City Ordinance 4-1-2-A.
"Off Road Trails will not be cleared of snow unless they serve a public facility or connect to a major pedestrian sidewalk as determined by the City.
Level of Service
The intent of this policy is to provide safe winter driving conditions appropriate for the type of travel necessary on City streets. The level of service described herein will be considered a guideline with the understanding that immediately after a storm the level of service provided may be less than described herein and may vary across the City depending on storm conditions and other circumstances.
Streets will be plowed and/or sanded to provide intersection approaches and curves that are as safe as conditions allow. Gravel and dirt road services will be plowed to provide a hard packed surface with sand and/or abrasives spread as necessary for traction. A minimum of chemicals will be used to achieve the conditions stated and to provide workable stockpiles and/or abrasives.
During light to normal snowfalls, streets will be plowed full width as soon after the initial pass as possible. During heavier snowfalls the streets will be plowed as wide as possible initially and widened as the storm intensity lessens. After the storm passes, cleanup operations will begin to clear intersections and snow storage areas along corners and boulevards. It is the City's intent to complete the initial plowing and widening operations within twelve (12) hours of cessation of the storm. Cleanup operations should be complete within twenty-four (24) hours for light snowfalls and within seventy-two (72) hours for heavy snowfalls. Major blizzards may require additional time.
On-street parking is not compatible with efficient snow plowing operations. Vehicles left parked on the street for extended periods of time create problems for snowplows as well as safety problems with packed snow and ice around the vehicle. Ticketing and/or towing these vehicles may occur in conformance with City Ordinance 6-2-2-A, which prohibits on-street parking during the hours of 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Additionally, after large accumulations of snow the City may find it advisable to prescribe parking restrictions to facilitate snow plowing and cleanup operations. This would be in accordance with City ordinance 6-2-8-A, which prohibits parking on unplowed streets for a period of forty-eight (48) hours after two inches (2) or more of snowfall.
Certain locations within our community require additional service after snow plowing operations cease. This shall be referred to as snow removal. Snow removal hereinafter will be defined as the loading and trucking of snow to an approved site under the direction of the Public Works Director or Public Works Superintendent. This service is provided when there is no area for snow storage. Snow removal operations normally begin within 24 hours after snow plowing operations have been completed.
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 12.5 feet beyond the curb location. The intent of the right of way is to provide room for snow storage, utilities, boulevard trees, sidewalks, and other City uses. However, certain private improvements such as mailboxes are required within this area. Therefore, the City will cooperate with the property owner in the event of damaged private property. The City may specify when this damage is the responsibility of the City and when it shall be the responsibility of the resident.
The City accepts responsibility for mailboxes, which have been damaged by physically being struck by a plow blade, wing, or other piece of equipment. Mailboxes should be constructed sturdily enough to withstand snow rolling off a plow or a wing. Therefore, damage resulting from snow is the responsibility of the residents. The City will repair, replace, or reimburse the residents in those instances where the City is responsible for the damage. The City will have the choice whether to repair or replace and will only reimburse the cost of materials in the instances where it is in the City's best interest. Lawns damaged by City equipment will be repaired by top dressing and seeding.
Damage to mailboxes not constructed or placed in accordance with postal standards and other criteria as established by the Minnesota Department of Transportation are not the responsibility of the City.
In instances where there is disagreement as to the damage or the responsibility for the damage, the Administration and/or Police Department may determine the responsibility.
Plow drivers ask that bins be kept out of street on garbage day
Savage snow plow drivers need residents' help to ensure streets are cleared quickly - even on garbage collection days. When placing your trash out for collections, please ensure that your bin is confined to the end of your driveway. Bins placed in the street hamper a driver's ability to plow the snow in an effective and efficient manner. The City of Savage generally commences plow operations following the accumulation of 2 inches of snow or more.
Responsibility of Residents
Snow storms create numerous problems and inconveniences. Policy identifies streets, sidewalks, and public facilities that the City will clear. Residents also have certain responsibilities, which may include the following:
Snow plowing can cause additional snow to be deposited in driveway approaches and around roadside obstacles. Operators are instructed to attempt to minimize these instances. However, it is not practical to eliminate this situation. Residents should be aware they may have to clear their driveways a second time after their street has been plowed.
Questions and Complaints
Complaints regarding snow and ice control or damage shall be taken during normal working hours and handled in accordance with the City's normal complaint procedure. High priority complaints (those involving access to property or problems requiring immediate attention) shall 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. It is the City's intention to log all complaints and upgrade this policy as necessary in consideration of the constraints of our resources.