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Time to think about snow ordinance

“The calendar again reminds me that we are heading into the ‘Holiday Season,’ which means the winter season is fast approaching,” Osceola Police Chief Martin W. Duffus said.

“The snow ordinance goes into effect automatically when the National Weather Service predicts 2 inches or more of snow or ice for our area or when 2 inches or more of snow or ice has already fallen. The ordinance remains in effect for 48 hours after cessation of the storm or unless extended or cancelled by the street superintendent or me.

“When the snow ordinance is in effect, it means there is no parking or leaving of vehicles on any street, alley or other public right-of-ways owned or maintained by the city. The parking ban exists until either declared over by the street superintendent or me, or when the streets have been completely cleared and pushed back to the curb. This doesn’t mean it is OK after the plow makes its first pass. Vehicles left on the streets, in alleys or other public right-of-ways are subject to a $20 parking ticket and to being towed.

“I use many types of media to announce to the public when the ban or ordinance is in effect,” Duffus said. “My typical outlets are the department’s Facebook page, the city’s website, Osceola Sentinel-Tribune’s website, message boards at American State Bank Motor Bank, Hunsicker Insurance and Hy-Vee, our NIXLE program, television stations KCCI, WHO, WOI, KDIN and FOX and our local radio station KSOI.

“Finally, property owners are required to clear your sidewalks within 48 hours of the cessation of the snow event or the city may clear it for you at your expense. It is also illegal for people to push snow from your property into or across the street.”

Contact the law center with questions.

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