Those living in older homes with limited driveway space and those who had guests over the holidays asked that the ordinance be reconsidered, giving leeway if the skies are clear or if special exemptions had been requested to accommodate visitors.
Council members discussed the need to allow plows room to clear and protect cars from the ice and snow that resulted.
City Manager John Thacker said the police department was concerned about the arbitrary nature of granting exemptions in the past and had discontinued that practice.
“I have no interest in changing an ordinance that was just enacted after sound reasoning and thought,” said council member Gil Miller. “The ordinance is clear. I’m not prepared to create another problem after having solved one.”
That said, he added that common sense should be used by those enforcing the ordinance and referred the matter to city staff.
Council member Ron Stephens reviewed the city’s list of procedures for snow plowing, indicating there are five different zones in the city, two plows assigned to each zone. He mentioned the challenges in keeping cul-de-sacs cleared, and said in case of emergencies, police and fire departments would contact public works by phone to ensure the roads are clear.
Stephens said he was “pleased” and “impressed” with the work the city coordinates to keep its streets plowed, but added “it’s not always a science – sometimes it’s an art due to the nature of the storm, the temperature and different storm conditions.”
In other business, resident Christian Nielsen presented information to the council concerning speeding on Sunset Drive. Nielsen clocked the traffic speed over the past month and found it to be as much as 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, making it unsafe for children to cross the road or play in their front yards.
He asked the city to consider installing stop signs or roundabouts, set up radar speed signs, or patrol more often.