The calendar reminds me we are heading into the “Holiday Season,” which means the winter season is fast approaching. Winter means snow and each year I find myself hoping for either less of it than the year before or for no snow at all. I understand none or a reduced amount is not good for our farmers or our water supply.
Each year I submit this article which explains the city’s snow ordinance. It would be cumbersome to print it in its entirety so I will highlight some of the important areas. First, 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 that there is no parking or leaving of vehicles on any street, any alley or other public right-of-way 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 does not mean it is okay after the plow makes its first pass. Vehicles left on the streets, in alleys or other public right-of-ways, are subject to a $20.00 parking ticket and to being towed.
In addition to parking restrictions, property owners are required to clear 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.
I use many types of media to announce to the public when the ban or ordinance is in effect. My typical outlets are: The department’s Facebook page, the City’s website and Facebook page, Osceola Sentinel-Tribune’s website, message boards at American State Bank Motor Bank, Hunsicker Insurance, Hy-Vee, Community First Credit Union, the sign boards at both schools, the hospitals digital sign boards, and our NIXLE program (it is a free program. Come in or call and ask us how to sign up), television stations KCCI, WHO, WOI, KDIN and FOX and our local radio stations KSIB and KSOI.
If you have questions, please feel free to either call or come out to the law center and we will try to answer them.