Snow Removal Policy
The City of Westbrook believes that it is in the best interest of the residents for the City to assume basic responsibility for control of snow and ice on the city streets. Reasonable ice and snow control is necessary for routine travel and emergency services. The City will provide such control in a safe and cost effective manner, keeping in mind safety, budget, personnel and environmental concerns. The City will use city employees, equipment and/or private contractors to provide this service.
The Street Department Superintendent will decide when to begin snow or ice control operations. The criteria for that decision are:
a. Snow accumulation of 2 inches or more.
b. Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel.
c. Ice conditions this seriously affect travel.
3. Method of snow removal
Snow will be plowed in a manner so as to minimize any traffic obstructions. Snow will be plowed from inside out except where it is windrowed and these areas are specified in item #4. In times of extreme snowfall, streets will not always immediately be able to be completely cleared of snow.
4. Snow Removal and Schedule
The Street Department Superintendent will determine when snow will be removed by truck from the area. Such snow removal will occur in areas where there is no room on the boulevard for snow storage and in areas where accumulated piles of snow create a hazardous condition. Snow removal operations will not commence until other operations have been completed. Snow removal operations may be delayed depending on weather conditions and personnel availability. The snow will be removed and hauled to a snow storage area certain fees may be charged. The snow storage area will be located as to minimize environmental problems.
The City has classified city streets based on the importance and the welfare of the community. These are streets of the city that provide access for emergency fire, police and medical services.
The second priority streets are those streets providing access to schools and commercial businesses. The third priority streets are low volume residential streets. The fourth priority areas are alleys and city parking lots.
A snow emergency may be declared any time during the year at the discretion of the Street Superintendent when two or more inches of snow or ice have covered or drifted over a street.
5. Work Schedule for Snow Plow Operators
Snowplow operators will be expected to work eight-hour shifts. In severe snow emergencies, operators sometimes may have to work in excess of eight-hour shifts. However, because of budget and safety concerns, no operators shall work more than a twelve (12) hour shift in any twenty four (24) hour period. Operators will take a fifteen (15) minute break every two (2) hours and with a half hour meal break after four (4) hours.
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.
6. Use of Salt Sand 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.
The City will maintain the following sidewalks: City hall, street department sidewalks, community center, fire hall, library, city park, light plant, former water treatment plant and finally the water tower. As there are a limited number of personnel available the city will only maintain these sidewalks after the streets have been plowed.
8. Parking Lots, Entrances, and Driveways
Responsibility for private parking lots, entrances to lots and driveways shall rest with the individual property owners. This includes the clearing of additional snow that may accumulate once the city plows have gone by.
City snow plowing crews will be responsible for plowing the City Hall parking lot and the downtown municipal lot. All other parking lots plowed by the city will be billed at an hourly rate.
9. Placement of Snow on Public Property or Obstructing Views
In accordance with the provisions of the City code and state law it is unlawful for any person to place snow or ice upon public property, including public streets. Furthermore, cleared snow shall be piled and accumulated in a manner, which does not block visibility of drivers on public streets and alleys or cause other hazardous conditions. The Street Department Superintendent shall have the authority to notify property owners who violate this section, and shall require them to remedy the situation.
10. Property Damage
The City recognizes that on occasion private property is damaged during snow and ice control operations. Where this happens it shall be the policy of the City to handle damages in the following manner:
1. Mailboxes. Where mailboxes are placed adjacent to the street, it shall be the policy of the City that snow shall be plowed as close as practicable to the curb to allow for passage of traffic and mail delivery. It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to keep piled snow away from mailboxes so mail can be delivered.
Where damage to mailboxes occurs, the Street Department Superintendent shall investigate such damage. Where evidence indicates that physical contact occurred between the plow and the mailbox the City would assume responsibility for repair. Where evidence indicates that snow caused damage to the mailbox the homeowner will assume responsibility for repair.
2. Boulevard Sod. It shall be the policy of the City to repair any damage to sod where curbs are in place by:
a. Street maintenance will repair the damage by re-laying the turned up pieces or placing black dirt and grass seed
b. The property owner may elect to do the repair using commercial sod. The City will reimburse the property owner the cost of the sod (no labor costs will be reimbursed). Reimbursement must be approved by the City Administrator prior to the commencement of the corrective work or purchasing of the sod. The property owner shall supply an estimate of the cost of the sod. After approval by the City administrator the property owner must present an invoice to the Administrator before payment will be made.
3. Curbs. Concrete curbs will not be replaced unless the curb back is broken.
4. Driveway Ramps. The City will not repair damage caused to driveway ramps of fillets where mountable curb is in place, unless authorized by either the City Administrator or the Street Department Superintendent.
11. Parking Restrictions During Winter Months
Parking in the downtown commercial district shall be prohibited between the hours of 2:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M. between the dates of November 15 and April 15.
12. Automatic Parking Ban After Snowfall
No person shall park or leave standing any vehicle upon any street in the City of Westbrook after a snowfall of two (2) inches or more, nor upon any street which is covered or has deposited on it two (2) inches of snow or more, until snow removal comprising the full width of the public right-of-way (curb to curb) has been completed.
Any motor vehicle parked in violation of this section is deemed to be a nuisance that interferes with snow removal from public rights-of-way. Any Police Officer may remove any such vehicle by means of towing or other means in order to facilitate proper snow removal.
13. Annual Review of Snow Removal Policy and Procedures
The City Council shall annually review and adopt by resolution the City’s Snow Removal Policy and Operational Guidelines at its first regular meeting in October.