Weather on minds of City Council members

Ordinance passed prohibiting moving snow into public areas

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Recent heavy snowfalls made their way into Tuesday night's Craig City Council meeting as members voted to pass an emergency ordinance prohibiting moving snow into public areas.

While checking the Municipal Code in response to calls from the public about blocked access to city right-of-ways, city manager Jim Feree discovered that a subsection regarding snow and ice had been inadvertently left out of the code when it was updated in July 2003.

Recent mild winters had kept the issue from the spotlight until big snowfalls this month brought the issue back to the forefront.

"Every once in a while we would get a call about snow from the public," Ferree said. "We checked to see if we had the authority to have them move the snow and discovered the oversight."

Ferree said that he didn't think a single ticket had been issued due to a violation of the city code, but he still asked the council to approve the emergency ordinance. The ordinance will remain in effect for 60 days until the council can approve an amended ordinance, and make it a permanent part of the municipal code.

Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said the problem only became an issue after recent snowfalls.

"In the last couple of weeks it was worse than normal," he said. "People are piling snow in places where it blocks the view down the street."

Vanatta said that in most cases people are simply asked to move the snow off of the public access, or out of the way of a potential driving hazard, but tickets can be issued for failing to comply with the request.

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