Two of the proposed changes to Chadron’s snow removal ordinances seem to have solid support – extending the deadline for residents to clear sidewalks in front of their homes or businesses from 5 hours after the end of a storm to 24 hours and not piling snow around fire hydrant.
More than an hour of discussion at its second reading Monday night showed the third proposed change isn’t popular with those who commercially remove snow with pickups, ATVs, UTVs or shovels..
The change bars pushing or blowing snow from private property, including sidewalks and driveways, into the street – which the city says can cause extra work and delay in clearing the streets, costing all taxpayers money to benefit private individuals.
Several of the 27 Chadron residents who do snow removal professionally questioned the need for the change, asking if the relatively small amount of snow involved in residential neighborhoods – some of it left in driveways by city plows – was really a problem.
They questioned whether the city was proposing unenforceable rules since it would be hard to prove which individuals pushed snow into the street, leading Vice Mayor Keith Crofutt to offer similar observations on both questions.
Calls for common sense came from both the private snow removers and council members. Retired longtime street superintendent Terry Birnbaum said there’s no way to make everyone happy when it comes to plowing streets, but building good relationships always helps.
The third and final reading of the proposed changes will come at the Nov 2nd council meeting. Chadron has 113 lane miles of streets that are plowed when snow reaches 3”.