Kremmling mulls snow removal ordinance
February 6, 2008
The almost daily snowfall since mid-December is causing a real headache for the town of Kremmling when it comes to getting the snow plowed off its streets.
At Monday night’s Town Council meeting, Town Manager Ted Soltis told the trustees about the rising number of complaints from residents about how the snow is being plowed from the streets. He also suggested the town consider some type of ordinance on street parking for snow removal purposes.
Both Soltis and Public Works Director Doug Moses said the biggest problem for the town’s snowplows is vehicles parked on the town’s streets.
“People ask “why did you plow my car in?'” Moses said. “People have got to realize that we have to move the snow off the streets and plow it beyond the roadway’s flow line.”
Moses said the public needs to understand that roadways are constructed with their high point running along the middle line. The roadway’s pavement is designed to slope to the outside to allow water to run off it and into a low area paralleling it called the “flow line” or “ditch.”
“When we plow, we try to move the snow beyond the flow line,” Moses said. “The reason why we do this is that when the snow melts, the water will seep under the edge of the asphalt if it’s not been pushed beyond the flow line.
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“If the snow is not pushed away and the water gets under the asphalt,” Moses said, “the edges of the streets begin to crack and crumble. And we don’t have enough money in the budget to repair all the damage to the streets that will result.”
The situation is similar for dirt or gravel roads in the area, Moses explained. If the snow is not plowed off the roadway and beyond the flow line, the surface of the roads become saturated with water when the snow melts. This causes mud and ruts to develop, which will require major repairs.
“Without proper drainage on the roads without asphalt, the ruts will be deeper and deeper until it becomes a quagmire,” he said.
Both Moses and Soltis emphasized the importance of residents not parking on the streets to allow the town snowplows to do their work. They also explained that to push the snow beyond a street’s flow line will require the snowplows to use the town’s right of way.
“What most residents don’t understand is that our easement is well up into what most people consider as their front yards,” Moses said.
Soltis and Moses said the town has also gotten a large number of complaints from residents who have shoveled snow from their property into the streets only to have it plowed back onto their property.
“We realize people are feeling a lot more pressure this winter to move snow, but they have just got to be realistic,” Moses said. “We have to plow from the center of the roadway and they will get a share of the snow plowed off it. We recommend they shovel the snow into their own yards rather than the streets.”
Soltis said he plans to research the snow removal ordinances for nearby towns and bring his recommendations for a Kremmling ordinance at the council’s next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
In other business at Monday’s meeting, the trustees awarded the contract to demolish the old firehouse building at 301 Central Avenue to Spur Associates of Kremmling. Its bid was for $27,945. Demolition is expected to begin in four to six weeks.