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Section V Winter Maintenance City of Prior Lake Winter Maintenance Policy 1 V. WINTER MAINTENANCE POLICY Adopted October 7, 2002 Revised November 3, 2003 Revised December 20, 2004 Revised September 19, 2005 Revised October 16, 2006 Revised September 17, 2007 Revised October 20, 2008 Revised December 7th, 2009 Revised November 1, 2010 Revised November 7, 2011 Revised November 13, 2012 Revised November 12, 2013 Revised October 27, 2014 Revised November 9, 2015 Revised October 10, 2016 Revised November 6, 2017 SUMMARY/PURPOSE The purpose of this Policy is to define and outline snow, and ice control objectives and procedures as established by the City of Prior Lake. The City of Prior Lake 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 City streets. Reasonable ice and snow control is necessary for routine travel and emergency services. The City will attempt to provide such control in a safe and cost-effective manner, keeping in mind safety, budget, personnel and environmental concerns. The City will use City employee’s, City owned or rented equipment and/or private contractors to provide the following level of service: Street Snow Removal – Level of Service Snow Accumulation 1-2” 3-6” 6”+ Removal Time (hrs) Pavement Above 15°F 8 10-12 12+ Removal Time (hrs) Pavement Below 15°F 10 12+ 12+ Note: Removal time is the time necessary to remove snow from all City Streets at least one time. Parks / Trails / Sidewalks / Parking Lots – Level of Service Snow Accumulation 1-3” 4-12” 12”+ Removal Time (hrs) 8 12+ 1-3 days City of Prior Lake Winter Maintenance Policy 2 It should be noted that every winter storm has different temperatures and intensities that can alter the amount of time crews spend with snow and ice control. The absence of even one employee, the break- down of one piece of equipment, or not replacing equipment that has become unreliable or requires repairs and maintenance that are not cost-effective can also alter snow and ice control and removal time This policy supersedes any and all previously written or unwritten policies of the City regarding snow and ice removal. The Public Works Department will review this policy periodically and will amend it as appropriate. WHEN WILL CITY START SNOW OR ICE CONTROL OPERATIONS? The Maintenance Superintendent or his/her designee will decide when to begin anti-icing, snow removal, or ice control operations. The criteria for that decision are: 1. Air and Pavement Temperatures 2. Anti-Icing operations may occur 48 hours in advance of an approaching storm, anticipated frost or prior to weekends in which forecasts call for some form of precipitation 3. Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel 4. Icy conditions which seriously affect travel 5. Time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use of streets Snow and ice control operations are expensive and involve the use of limited personnel and equipment. In order to remain cost effective, the Public Works Department will utilize a variety of ice control products and continually monitor the effectiveness, environmental impact and costs of each product applied. The Maintenance Superintendent or his/her designee will determine the appropriate combination of chemicals to effectively control ice in the given weather conditions. Effects on the environment are of the highest priority in selection of ice control products. To assure completion of priority areas, snow removal may be conducted on a 24-hour basis, which may result in snow removal equipment being operated in residential areas during the evening, night, and early morning hours. ANTI-ICING This is a more common practice of being proactive to an impending snowfall or frost event. This practice prevents the snow or frost from bonding or compacting to the pavement surface and providing direct contact to the pavement surface when traveling the residential streets at a much lower cost than applying dry salt products. The product in most cases is salt brine, which is chloride diluted to a 23% solution with water. In relevant terms, one gallon of brine consists of 2 pounds of salt. HOW SNOW WILL BE PLOWED Snow will be plowed in a manner so as to minimize any traffic obstructions. Generally, the center of the roadway will be plowed first. The snow shall then be pushed from left to right. The discharge shall go onto the boulevard area of the street. In times of extreme snowfall, the process of clearing the streets of snow may be delayed, and it may not be reasonably possible to completely clear the streets of snow. City of Prior Lake Winter Maintenance Policy 3 Generally, operations shall continue until all roads are passable. Widening and clean up operations may continue immediately or on the following working day depending upon conditions and circumstances. Due to safety concerns for the plow operators and the public, operations may be terminated after 10 -12 hours to allow personnel adequate time for rest. Cul-de-sacs will be plowed with one pass along the curb to provide an outlet for the driveways, with snow being piled in the middle of the cul-de-sac, where possible. Crews will clean up the cul-de-sac later that day or the following work day as time permits. Snow removal will only occur when no storage space is available in the cul-de-sac area. DOWNTOWN SNOW REMOVAL The downtown area will be plowed from ROW to ROW (generally storefront to storefront) with the snow pushed into piles where feasible. Crews will remove the snow piles during non-business hours on the day of the event if possible. Snow removal operations may also be delayed depending on weather conditions, time of day, personnel and budget availability. SNOW REMOVAL The Maintenance Superintendent or his/her designee will determine when snow will be removed by truck from an area. Such snow removal will occur in areas where there is no room on the boulevard for snow storage and in areas where piles of snow have been created by City crews. Snow removal operations will not commence until other snowplowing operations have been completed. Snow removal operations may also be delayed depending on weather conditions, personnel and budget availability. The snow will be removed and hauled to a snow storage area. PRIORITIES AND SCHEDULE FOR SNOW REMOVAL The City has categorized City streets, facilities, trails, sidewalks and recreational facilities based on the function, use volume, and importance to the welfare of the community. Streets Priority Snow Plow Routes: These are high volume streets that connect major sections of the City and provide access for emergency fire, police and medical services. Daytime Snow Emergency Routes: These are high volume streets that are critical to general traffic flow and access for the City. School and Commercial Routes: These are high to medium volume streets that provide access to key areas in the City. Medium Volume Residential Streets: These are medium volume streets that provide access to multiple properties. Low Volume Residential Streets: These are low volume streets providing access to a limited number of properties. These routes include cul-de-sacs and alleys. City of Prior Lake Winter Maintenance Policy 4 Non-Street Facilities Non-Street Facilities are categorized according to the following three priorities: HIGH PRIORITY MEDIUM PRIORITY LOW PRIORITY Safety High Use Recreation Community Trails Emergency Hockey Rinks Pleasure Rinks School Access Public Facility-Building Access Time tables for snow removal are based upon the priority of the particular trail, sidewalk, parking lot, skating rink or access as set forth below. Priorities Priority 1 - Those streets classified as “Snow Plow Routes” will be plowed first. These are high volume streets, which connect major sections of the City and provide access for emergency fire, police and medical services. Exhibit A maps the “Priority Snow Plow Routes” and the “Daytime Snow Emergency Routes.” Non-street facilities classified as “High” Priority on Exhibit B include the Fire Halls, Downtown, and pedestrian routes for schools and public safety. Priority 2 - Streets providing access to schools and commercial businesses Priority 3 - Low volume residential streets and alleys Priority 4 – Medium priority non-street facilities Priority 5 – Low priority non-street facilities PARKING RESTRICTIONS City Code 901.207 Winter Parking Restrictions: In order to expedite the prompt and efficient removal of snow from the Streets of the City, it is unlawful for any Person to stop, stand or park any Vehicle or permit it to stand on any Street within the City between the hours of two o’clock (2:00) A.M. and six o’clock (6:00) A.M. from November 1 until March 31 of the following year. At all other times of the year it is unlawful for any Person to stop, stand or park any Vehicle or permit it to stand on any public Street within the City between the hours of two o’clock (2:00) A.M. and six o’ clock (6:00) A.M. a fter a continuous or intermittent snowfall during which there has been an accumulation of two inches (2”) or more of snow on any Street, the Maintenance Superintendent or designee has issued a snow emergency, and until the snow has been plowed or removed to the full width of the Street. Any Vehicle parked in violation of this subsection may be towed pursuant to Minnesota Statutes section 169.041. A violation of this subsection shall be a petty misdemeanor. City of Prior Lake Winter Maintenance Policy 5 WORK SCHEDULE FOR SNOW AND ICE CONTROL EQUIPMENT OPERATORS Equipment operators will be expected to work eight to ten hour shifts on a regular basis. In severe snow emergencies, operators sometimes have to work in excess of ten-hour shifts. After a twelve-hour day, the operators will be replaced if additional qualified personnel are available. WEATHER CONDITIONS Snow and ice control operations will normally 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. USE OF SALT AND OTHER CHEMICALS The City will use salt and other chemicals when there is hazardous ice or slippery conditions. The City is concerned about the cost and the effect of such chemicals on the environment and may limit its use for that reason. SIDEWALKS/TRAILS/PARKING LOTS Trails, Sidewalks, and Accesses The City has classified all sidewalks and trails which are mapped on Exhibit B. These classifications were used to develop the Trails/Sidewalks Maintenance Map show on Exhibit C. The following standards are adopted for providing winter maintenance to designated trails, sidewalks, parking lots, and winter lake access: 1. Sidewalks and trails which abut private property shall not normally be cleared of snow unless designated within this Policy. It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to keep sidewalks clear of snow or ice in accordance with City Code 701.100. If notice has been sent to owner/occupant and snow has not been removed, the City may choose to remove the snow and ice and charge the cost of removal to the property owner. The property owner would first receive an invoice showing the appropriate charges. Failing to pay the invoice would result in a one-year special assessment against the benefiting property. There is a minimum of $100 flat fee (or as determined periodically by the City Council) for snow removal, and the City reserves the right to charge additional fees as may be reasonable and appropriate. 2. The designated sidewalks, trails, parking lots, accesses, and rinks are normally plowed, blown or swept. The method of snow removal depends on the amount and type of snowfall. 3. Designated trails and sidewalks will be cleared as thoroughly as possible but need not be cleared of all ice and snow, nor maintained to bare pavement. City of Prior Lake Winter Maintenance Policy 6 4. City facilities and downtown sidewalks will be treated with salt or other chemical to reduce ice by City staff as time permits. Other sidewalks and trails throughout the City will not be salted or treated with chemicals. Skating Rinks The following standards are adopted for providing winter maintenance to hockey and pleasure ice- skating rinks which are listed on Exhibit D. 1. All rinks (with warming houses) will be swept and flooded Monday through Friday, if needed. 2. If rinks become rough or uneven due to weather conditions, i.e., warm weather, frost boils, or freezing rain, rinks will be shaved as time allows during normal working. 3. In the event of snow: a. No rink will be maintained until snow fall ceases. b. Maintenance crews will generally maintain rinks during normal working hours. The Maintenance Superintendent or Parks Foreman may decide to call in a crew on weekends or holidays to maintain rinks, if snow fall exceeds 2” AND it provides efficiency to remove snow (i.e. freezing conditions). c. Hockey rinks are ranked as a medium priority and therefore will not be maintained until high priority winter operations are completed. d. Pleasure rinks (with warming houses) are ranked as a low priority and therefore will not be maintained until high and medium winter operations are completed. 4. If the condition of the ice becomes a safety concern, rinks may be closed at the discretion of the Maintenance Superintendent or his/her designee. 5. For safety reasons, the City has a weather policy which determines rink clos ing. The warming house and rinks will be closed if the actual air temperature is -5 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, or the wind chill is -25 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. The weather cancellation hotline is 952.447.9825 RIGHT-OF-WAY USE The intent of the right-of-way is to provide room for snow storage, public and private utilities, sidewalks, street lights, signage and other City uses. However certain private improvements such as mailboxes are permitted within this area. Other private improvements are not permitted. Mailbox Mailboxes must be installed in such a manner as to provide access by Post Office personnel or other parcel carriers and to allow for Public Works equipment to maintain the streets. Newspaper boxes installed under mailboxes in most cases do not allow for snow equipment to pass under and can cause an indirect hit to the mailbox. A drawing showing the proper details for mailbox placement is attached as Exhibit D. Mailboxes and posts should be constructed securely enough to withstand snow rolling off a plow or wing. Any posts that are rotten or too weak to withstand winter weather will not be the responsibility of the City. The City will bear the cost of the repair of a damaged mailbox only if it is a resu lt of City equipment actually hitting the mailbox, not from the weight of snow. The City will install a replacement mailbox and City of Prior Lake Winter Maintenance Policy 7 post which shall be a standard size non-decorative type; or the mailbox owner will be reimbursed up to $50.00 toward the cost of a replacement mailbox and post provided the owner has contacted the Public Works Department within 48 hours for verification and authorization from the Maintenance Superintendent or his/her designee. The City will make temporary repairs to mailboxes for mail delivery if a City plows actually hits a mailbox. When weather and time permit, the Public Works Department will complete the repairs. Damage resulting from snow is the responsibility of the property owner/resident. Removing snow from the mailbox and maintaining access to the mailbox is the responsibility of the property owner. A property owner assumes all risk and responsibilities for replacement of mailboxes and supports that are constructed of materials such as, but not limited to, brick and mortar, stone aggregate, ornamental railings, or antique type support. Snow plow operators make every effort to remove snow as close to the curb line as practical to provide access to mailboxes for the postal department. It is not possible to provide perfect conditions and minimize damage to mailboxes with the size of equipment the City operates. The final cleaning adjacent to mailboxes is the responsibility of each resident. Boulevard Turf Repair The City shall, when it receives a complaint, record the location of alleged damage to turf caused by contact with City equipment. The location will be reviewed by the Public Works Department in the spring when the extent of the alleged damage can be verified. Frequently, the damage looks more severe immediately after the occurrence than it does when the snow has melted in the spring. If the sod needs repair as determined by the Public Works Department, the Public Works Department shall seed the damaged area. The City will determine the appropriate boulevard turf repair material based on site conditions, materials and available City resources. Once staff has restored the area it will then be the resident’s responsibility to water and maintain the damaged area. The City provides replacement costs for one (1) restoration service. To reduce the areas of damaged turf by City equipment, the City will provide markers free of charge to residents to place along their curb to mark the edge of the road for the equipment operators. Markers can be picked up at City Hall from October throughout the winter season. If there is damage to a boulevard area caused by City equipment, the City maintenance crews will give priority to those residents who placed the markers along their property. Irrigation, Lighting, Trees, Fences, Etc. The City will assume no responsibility for damage to underground irrigation systems, private lighting systems, trees, shrubs, specialty grasses, rocks, fences, underground dog containment wires, retaining walls, basketball hoops or similar landscaping installed in City controlled right-of-way or easements. Garbage cans and recycle bins left for pickup by a resident must be located in the driveway of the residence. Storage of garbage cans and recycle bins in the roadway surface in which snow is to be removed requires extra staff time due to potential future drainage issues from the inability to clean to the curb line and safety issues during the snow removal process. City of Prior Lake Winter Maintenance Policy 8 Driveway or Private Street Access The City of Prior Lake reminds everyone, including commercial snow removal operators, that Minnesota Statute 160.27 states that it is against the law to deposit snow on to a public roadway. Dumping or plowing snow on to a roadway can create a slippery area, frozen rut or bump, which could contribute to a motor vehicle and pedestrian accident. Snowforts and children playing in the vicinity of the curb are strongly discouraged for safety’s sake. The following tip may be of assistance for proper placement of snow and minimize your inconv enience when a snow plow comes along after you’ve cleared your driveway. First, place as much snow as possible from the end of your driveway downstream in the direction of traffic. Second, clear an area upstream from your driveway to create an open “pocket”. Much of the snow pushed by the plow truck will empty into this pocket and less will wind up in the driveway entrance. You must maintain this area throughout the winter for it to be effective. The City of Prior Lake cautions anyone working close to a roadway to watch fo r oncoming traffic and warns drivers to be alert to people clearing snow. Unknown objects left in the snow may be displaced from the snow movement from the snow plow vehicle.