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Wheaton City Council changes snow plow policy

WHEATON – While winter weather may make for slow going in a few months, there will likely be fewer piles of frozen snow on Wheaton roads.

The City Council voted unanimously Monday to change the Wheaton City Code to fine those who plow snow onto opposite parkways.

City Manager Don Rose said at a first reading of the ordinance Aug. 4 there is already an ordinance in place prohibiting putting snow, grass clippings and other refuse on public property such as streets.

The new ordinance clarifies language in the code and adds a provision against pushing snow onto a parkway or neighboring property.

"It's kind of become a prevalent type of snow removal in some areas of the city where plows come in and will push out either parking areas or driveways out into the street, across the street out onto the other parkway," Rose said. "They push the snow out, it starts accumulating over the curb, onto the street."

Rose said the offenders were generally professional plow services and some locations across the city see large mounds of ice and snow blocking several feet of roadway. There were also instances of city plows hitting the curb as they tried to get through the piles, which could cause deterioration.

While there haven't been many complains directed to city offices, Rose said it was a "nuisance."

With the passage of the ordinance, it is against code to deposit snow and ice on private property or "public street or parkway, public parking lot, sidewalk, curb, gutter or fire hydrant," according to the ordinance.

Public works will enforce the ordinance and ticket accordingly. The plow provider would be the offender, said City Attorney James Knippen, and would be reported on a complaint basis. Should the owner or contractor not respond to the notice to remove the materials, the city would pay for the service and charge the owner, the ordinance stated.

"It's unlikely that this would be subject to a regular enforcement regimen, that we would have people out inspecting to make sure this wasn't going to happen," Knippen said Aug. 4.

Mayor Mike Gresk was absent for the vote and council member Phil Suess served as mayor pro tem.

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