It looks like winter has finally arrived this past weekend. This is my wife’s and my first winter in Salida. We are enjoying the climate very much so far. We were told the winters in the valley are mild. “Banana Belt” was the term used. However, we do need snow and the moisture that it provides. I have been told we usually get snow by this time and we need the moisture and the snow for winter sports. This is the earliest time that the Winter solstice has come since 1896. Officially winter will be here on December 21 at 6:12 AM.
I thought I would take this time and explain some of the city’s snow removal policies. The first one is the policy for clearing snow from sidewalks and footpaths. The Municipal Code requires the tenant, occupant or owner of any real property to remove snow and ice from the sidewalks or footpaths adjacent to their property within four (4) hours of a snowfall. If the snowfall is between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., then the Code requires the snow to be removed by 10:00 a.m.
Our community has many people that prefer to walk and bike so it is really important for each of us to do our part to keep the sidewalks safe for pedestrians. Remember that many of our children walk to school, too, and I believe that all of us want them to be safe. We at Public Works are not exempt from this rule either, as we are required to clear the snow from the sidewalks around the parks and city owned facilities. We use help from the Department of Corrections to help clear the snow when available but many times we have to remove the snow with our own forces. Unfortunately, if the snowstorm is still producing snow or there were large amounts of snow, our crew could still be clearing streets, as that is our first priority. So please be patient.
The second policy that I wanted to explain is for snow removal on city streets. It is the Public Works’ policy to start plowing snow once there is an accumulation of four inches of snow. It may take a few passes down the street to finish plowing. It is our policy to plow the snow all the way back to the curb. If we do not, we can end up with a narrow road that we cannot widen because it has melted and formed ice along the curb. Yes, driveways get plowed in.
Try to wait a while to see if a plow comes back before shoveling your driveway. We generally continue plowing until the snowfall has stopped and until every street in the city has been plowed. We do not plow the alleys. A new exception to this: this year we are going to try to plow the alleys that are blacktopped in the downtown area. Along with this, we turn our attention to removing the snow from the downtown area and continue around to the post office, library and the schools. This removal is generally the next day before business open so we don’t interfere with normal downtown activities. When we are clearing the snow we will close the block we are working on to traffic. We will post a truck at each end of the block and direct people to detour. We move fairly quickly and the blocks are usually opened back up within thirty minutes.
The last item I would like to discuss is our sanding policy. We use a mixture of salt and sand and start as we plow snow. On the snowfalls of less than four inches we also will sand as needed. We start in the downtown areas and school zones, then we branch out to the more high traffic areas and finally into the residential areas. We continue to sand as needed.
If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Public Works at (719) 539-6257. Snow is part of winter and why many people live here. We at Public Works want to make the snow removal process as easy on you as we can. Please forgive any inconvenience. Let’s look at the positive: One thing good about snow is that it makes your lawn look as good as your neighbor’s.