'Tis the season
Hartley council discusses snow removal, parking ordinances
November 12, 2020
The Hartley City Council dusted their brief meeting Monday with discussion about snow ordinance enforcement prior to Tuesday's storm.
Council Member Mary Westphalen broached the topic last month after an unseasonably early snowstorm passed through the area. Though accumulation melted within a day or two, Westphalen received complaints from residents who said their neighbors didn't remove snow from their sidewalks, creating a hazard for pedestrians.
Westphalen supported adding a date to Hartley's sidewalk snow removal ordinance. Currently, property owners have 48 hours to remove snow or ice from their sidewalks, but there is no date stating when it takes effect.
"It's too wishy-washy," said Westphalen, noting other cities have sidewalk snow removal ordinances that take effect on a certain date. "It's either enforced or not enforced."
The city bills property owners if they fail to remove snow or ice themselves. Westphalen believed enforcement needed to be ramped up this winter.
"If it's an ordinance, we need to enforce it," she said. "I hate when I see two inches of ice with snow on top of it."
Wesphalen also wanted an effective date added to the city's parking ordinance during snow removal. Early this year, the council upped the fine for vehicles illegally parked on city streets during snow removal procedures.
Westphalen also alleged that ordinance wasn't being enforced enough, but Police Chief Joe Hengeveld refuted the claim.
"We write tickets every time it snows," he said.
Ultimately, the council decided to leave both ordinances as-is. City officials will issue reminders to residents in the hopes they adhere to snow removal rules.