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Snow Removal Information
CITY OF COUNCIL BLUFFS
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

SNOW AND ICE CONTROL POLICY AND PROCEDURES
November, 2010

The purpose of this statement of policy and procedures is to establish a high level of service with respect to clearance of snow and ice and the maintenance of the road system during the winter months. It will also serve as a practical guide for cost-effective snow removal operations in the City of Council Bluffs. This statement of procedures supersedes any previously written policies of the City on snow and ice control operations. Provisions contained herein may be updated and reviewed as conditions or circumstances warrant change.

1. IMPLEMENTATION

This policy will be in effect during normal winter operations at times when weather conditions could cause accumulation of frost, sleet, snow, or other occurrences on the streets and public parking lots of the City of Council Bluffs.

2. DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY SNOW PARKING REGULATIONS

In accordance with Section 9.34.020 of the Council Bluffs Municipal Code, the Mayor may declare a ban on on-street parking when weather and street conditions warrant. Under such declaration, cars parked on designated streets during a snow removal effort may be ticketed and/or towed. The Police Department will be notified when the parking ban is initiated. Residents will be notified in advance of parking bans through the use of local media; including newspaper, radio, television and other City resources which could include but is not limited to the CODE RED ALERT SYSTEM.

3. EMERGENCY SNOW PARKING REGULATION PRIORITY AND PROCEDURES

A. POSTED SNOW EMERGENCY ROUTES, in accordance with 9.34.030 Council Bluffs Municipal Code: these routes will always be first priority. Crews will remain on posted emergency routes until the end of the snow fall.
B. MANDATORY ODD-EVEN PARKING. City plows cannot property clear many streets and cul-de-sacs due to parked cars. In many cases plows can seldom maneuver on streets with cars parked on both sides in reference with 9.34.010 and 9.34.020 Council Bluffs Municipal Codes, a general parking ban will result in parking allowed on even-numbered days on even address numbered side of streets only and parking on odd-address numbered sides of street on odd-numbered days. This will affect streets that currently allow parking on both sides of the street and will have no impact on streets where parking is permitted on only one side or streets where all parking is prohibited. This parking ban will remain in effect until the street is plowed from curb to curb or edge of road shoulders or until the Mayor orders a lift of said restriction. MANDATORY NO PARKING ON CUL-DE-SACS: This parking ban will go into affect along with the odd-even parking ban and will remain in effect until the cul-de-sac is plowed from curb to curb or edge of road shoulders.

4. SIDEWALKS - PRIVATE RESPONSIBILITY

All sidewalks adjacent to private property are the responsibility of the property owner. The City’s responsibility is to plow the streets and keep them open to traffic. Due to the location of some sidewalks and the volume of snow being moved, there will be occasions where the plowing operation may deposit additional snow onto the sidewalks. In accordance with Section 10.32.010 of the Council Bluffs Municipal Code, it is still the responsibility of property owners to remove all snow from their sidewalks. All complaint calls about private sidewalks not being cleared will be routed to the Right-of-Way division of the Public Works Department @ 712-328-4636.

5. DRIVEWAYS - PRIVATE

City snow plows will not clear private driveways except under emergency conditions and with the approval of the Supervisor on duty. The snow placed in driveways by City plows is the responsibility of the property owner to remove. Snow from a private driveway may not be placed on a city street in accordance with Section 10.32.030 of the Council Bluffs Municipal Code.

6. PLOWING PRIVATE PROPERTY

The City will not plow or clear snow or ice from private property unless it must be done to allow emergency vehicles access to private property for Emergency Services, Fire or Police calls.

7. MAILBOXES

The City will plow the snow within the confines of curb line to curb line of a street. During frequent periods of heavy snowfall accumulations, there may be times when City plows cannot physically place the snow from the curb line of the street onto City right-of-way. The adjacent resident will be responsible for clearing snow around the property’s mailbox to assure delivery of mail. The resident is also responsible for assuring that the mailbox is properly installed behind the curb line and able to withstand snow clearing efforts by the City. During preliminary routine inspections, City staff will notify citizens when potential problems are observed with the location of mailboxes. It will be the responsibility of residents to properly relocate mailboxes prior to winter plowing operations. The City will not be responsible for damage to mailboxes which have not been relocated after the notification has occurred.

8. ALLEYS

The City does not plow or remove snow from alleys or approaches. Due to the narrow paths and location of structures along alleyways, Public Works equipment cannot safely and efficiently plow alleys.

9. ROUTES AND PRIORITIES FOR SNOW AND ICE CONTROL OPERATIONS

In order to make the most efficient use of available resources, the city is divided into 25 separate snow routes. We then established priorities using the assumption that the severity of a storm is not beyond the normal capabilities of the City’s snow removal resources. Depending on the nature of the snowstorm, deviations could occur. The established priorities are as follows:

1ST PRIORITY emergency snow routes consist of main streets, hospitals, schools and areas of business and in some cases extend into areas of hills’ Crews will remain on these routes until the storm subsides enough to move on.

2ND PRIORITY all other residential streets

3RD PRIORITY city-owned sidewalks/Parking lots

PROCEDURES

1. DEFINITION OF SUPERVISOR

When ‘Supervisor’ is used in this statement of procedures, it means the person who is on duty at that time directing the snow/ice removal operations of the Department of Public Works. These individuals include: Director of Public Works Operations, Superintendents of Streets and Sewers, Street and Sewer Foremen, and/or any other individual who may be temporarily assigned the responsibility of Supervisor.

2. EMERGENCIES

Emergencies are defined as follows, but not necessarily limited to:

A. Immediate need for Police, Fire and/or Medical assistance. If City personnel requesting assistance must leave the public right-of-way to respond to an emergency, crews may provide necessary assistance such as opening a driveway or parking area to give access to emergency crews and equipment.
B. Isolated problem areas where access is urgently needed before all other areas are handled.
C. Ice conditions due to a water main break or clearing of streets due to uprooted or damaged trees blocking streets or access.

3. ICE CONTROL PROCEDURES

The objective of ice control is to provide a safe pavement surface for vehicular traffic by attempting to prevent a buildup of loose or hard-packed snow and ice on the pavement. Ice control also includes attempting to remove any buildup that occurs. This is done through an application of chemicals and/or abrasive materials and the use of underbody scrapers.

The City also may apply liquid chemical deicers prior to and during storm conditions to prevent the bonding of snow and ice to the pavement. This activity is known as anti-icing. Chemicals used in the process are sensitive to pavement temperatures. Based upon conditions, Supervisors will have discretion as to when to implement this activity.

The City will apply ice control materials in accordance with its recommended use of abrasives and chemicals for ice control. These application rates and conditions may vary depending upon the type of storm.

4. SNOW CONTROL PROCEDURES

The depth and time of snow accumulation, along with volume of traffic, will normally dictate when snow plowing operations will begin. Plowing will take place during a storm as needed in an attempt to keep the accumulation on the pavement surface less than the desired guidelines. Snow plowing operations will be carried out in accordance with the guidelines established for the various street classifications as set forth in this statement of procedures. Such plowing operations may often times be done in conjunction with ice control activities. Hauling snow from areas such as downtown and cul-de-sacs will be done at the discretion of Public works and will be dependent on pile accumulations.

5. USE OF ABRASIVE MATERIAL AND CHEMICAL MIXTURES

Under certain conditions, it may be desirable to use a mixture of salt and liquid de-icing chemical greater than that found in the standard stockpile mix. Such mixtures can work faster and at lower temperatures than the regular abrasive/chemical stockpile mix. Using salt or a sand/salt mix pre-wetted with liquid de-icers has several advantages such as quicker snow melting, melting at lower temperatures, reduction in the amount of material needed and less salt waste because it adheres to the pavement and begins to act immediately.

6. MONITORING AND NOTIFICATION OF ICE AND SNOW ACTIVITY

Public Works and Police shall monitor anticipated inclement weather and coordinate with each other regarding event intensity and action. The on-call Supervisor and Police Department will monitor weather reports and road conditions during normal Public Works Department working hours as well as off-duty hours, weekends and holidays. In the event of inclement weather, the on-call Supervisor will initiate the appropriate action following guidelines set forth in this policy.

7. WEATHER FORECASTING

Weather information is essential for good planning of both snow and ice control operations and other weather-related emergencies. An effective weather service must provide information on the storm sufficiently in advance so that plans and preparations can be made.

The City will utilize the services of Data Transmission Network during the snow and ice season. This weather forecasting service will provide information to the City in helping to determine what impact present and forthcoming weather will have on overall operations. Data Transmission Network will provide the City with on-screen tracking of current weather systems and data collection from the Iowa Department of Transportation roadway weather stations at various locations throughout the State.

The City will also continue to rely upon information from the Police Department, and the Iowa Department of Transportation as it relates to snow and ice conditions during the winter months. Television and radio stations will also be monitored to gather current weather information.

8. EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE

The primary equipment available to remove snow and ice will be supplied by the Public Works Department. Rental equipment may be utilized when necessary.
A. 14 dump trucks with plows/spreaders, pre-wet
B. 2 dump trucks with spreaders only
C. 4 motor graders
D. 2 wheel loaders
E. 2 bobcat skid-loaders
F. 2 snow blower attachments
9. MANPOWER AVAILABLE

The primary manpower for snow removal and ice control will be supplied by the Department of Public Works. During major events, personnel from other City departments may assist with snow removal efforts. Crews will be split into two 12-hour shifts.
A. STREETS - 25
B. SEWERS - 17
C. FLEET - 12
10. TYPE OF EQUIPMENT

The City utilizes many different types of equipment during its snow and ice control operations, and chains are used for every storm. The equipment to be used is chosen to fit the job that must be performed at that time. For ice control operations, the City utilizes tailgate and V-box spreaders. For snow plowing activities, the City utilizes reversible plows and motor graders. For blowing or physical removal of snow, the City utilizes a blower which can load snow directly into large tandem-axle dump trucks or place it on adjacent right-of-way.

11. EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR

As in all maintenance operations, successful snow and ice control depends upon the skillful use of manpower, personnel, equipment, and material. The efficient and economical control of ice and snow especially depends on the availability and use of the proper equipment. This availability does not just happen. It involves a well-planned program that is in progress during each season of the year. It also includes a program of routine inspection, maintenance, and repair of equipment utilized in snow removal operations. As such, the City will schedule mechanics for 12-hour shifts whenever the 12-hour snow removal shifts go into effect.

12. TRAININIG AND PREPARATION

An Iowa Department of Transportation approved equipment inspection will be performed annually prior to snow removal season. All equipment will be mounted, tested and any deficiencies reported to the Fleet Maintenance Division for correction. Snow training will began in September-October for new and existing employees. City streets will be inspected for obstacles that may require moving or planning around.

13. COMMUNICATIONS

All operators of snow and ice control equipment will keep in radio communication with the Public Works Supervisor or dispatcher at all times.

The Public Works Supervisor or dispatcher on duty will be the line of communications between the Department of Public Works and Police dispatcher. The Police Department will keep the Department of Public Works advised on road conditions only and shall not direct the operations of snow removal by the Department of Public Works.

14. CITIZEN COMPLAINTS

All citizen complaints concerning snow and ice control efforts will be routed to the Public Works Supervisor or dispatcher on duty at 712-328-4641. A log of complaints will be kept by these individuals at the Public Works Street Maintenance Facility. The Supervisor on duty will determine appropriate follow-up response to citizen complaints.

15. REPORTS

A storm record will be completed by the Department of Public Works utilizing a computerized work order system for each snow removal event. This record should contain operating times, weather conditions, and resources committed to each event.

16. SNOW FENCE

The Department of Public Works will place snow fence where it will be of assistance in preventing blowing snow from accumulating on the pavement. The snow fence will be placed on private property only with mutual consent between the property owner and the City. The City will have sole discretion as to when and where to place snow fence.

17. DISCLAIMER

This statement of procedures may be affected by at least one or more of the following events which could delay or alter snow and ice control by the City:

1. Equipment breakdown
2. Vehicles disabled in deep snow
3. Weather so severe as to cause work to be stopped for the safety of all personnel
4. Unforeseen conditions and emergencies

18. DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT OF POLICY

This document shall be distributed to the following:

A. Mayor and City Council
B. City Attorney
C. Public Works Supervisors
D. Chief of Police
E. Director of Parks and Recreation
F. Fire Chief
G. City Clerk
H. City Clerk’s Office
I. Director of Emergency Services
II. Posted on City website


City of Council Bluffs Snow Policy


















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