Pushing snow into street unlawful

By: 
Kathleen Gilluly
Outlook managing editor
City employee Roy Voss scooped and dumped snow into a small dump truck last Thursday after a Wednesday night stormed dropped a few inches on Laurel. The city crews were working to move the snow before the big storm predicted for the weekend hit.

While most folks appreciate it when their neighbors and businesses clear the snow off sidewalks and driveways, Laurel Police Department officers are requesting residents follow the city statue against obstructing the streets when they shovel or blow snow. In fact, it’s a pet peeve of one LPD officer.

“People are getting stuck in the snow that people are putting back into the streets,” the officer said. “Blow it or shovel it into your yard. We are having cars get stuck in the snow piles piles being left in the street.” He also mentioned that the snow can make parking difficult or impossible. And, after all the snow removal city crews have been doing, keeping it off the freshly plowed city streets could be considered a common courtesy.
Laurel city code 12.16.010 reads, “No person shall encumber or obstruct, or cause to be encumbered or obstructed, any street, sidewalk, alley or other public place in the city by placing therein or thereon any building materials, trash vehicle, earth, garbage, rubbish, debris, or accumulated snow and ice removed from an adjoining private premises, without first having obtained permission in writing from the city clerk-treasurer, or other responsible city official.” Snow is specifically named in 12.16.090 as a hazard not to be dumped on city streets. The cost to remove it is the responsibility of the responsible party. And, if not removed, the penalty is spelled out in 12.16.120, “Any person violating a provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than five hundred dollars.”
If having to remove the snow a second time or the threat of a fine isn’t reason enough to stop the dumping it in the street, remember, there is at least one officer who has made it his mission to catch miscreants who flaunt the law.
“The snow we have in the streets is enough of a problem. We don’t need more,” he said. “I’ll be looking for violations.”

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