With winter coming and with it the need for snow plows to clear the streets, the Craig Police Department reminded residents of the procedure for snow removal from city streets in a news release.
According to that release, plows normally start clearing the streets around 4 a.m. At that time they plow around any vehicles that are parked on the street.
This creates a wind row around those vehicles, which if not removed, will build up and create traffic problems. As a result, the plows will come back later to plow where the parked cars were, the release stated.
If the vehicles have not been moved the Police Department is then called to "Red Tag" the vehicles. While this helps clear the streets, it also creates conflicts.
"When vehicles are 'Red Tagged' for snow removal, the City is giving notice that the vehicle(s) must be moved to a different parking place so the next time the plows come by they can clean the area that was left around the parked vehicle," the release stated. "Vehicles must be removed within 48 hours of being tagged."
According to the department, city ordinance 10.04.020 governs snow removal. In part, this ordinance states: "Any vehicle parked or left unattended may be towed by the City or it's agent, the cost of which shall be collectable from the owner or driver, if any if the following circumstances exist: ... 3. The vehicle blocks or interferes with the maintenance of City streets for purpose such as repair of the street or removal of snow. The City shall only be able to enforce this subsection (3) after making reasonable efforts to notify all vehicle owners of the need to remove such vehicles for maintenance."
Normally, not only is the vehicle itself red tagged but extensive efforts are made to contact the registered owner, according to the release.
Another potential problem for citizens concerns placing snow on the street. According to the department, Section 2 of the above ordinance provides: "No person shall place or be responsible for the placing of any snow or ice or other debris of any kind in any public street, alley or right of way within the corporate limits of the City."
This is particularly a problem if the plows have already cleared the street.
The Road and Bridge Department offers a limited snow removal program for people over 65 years of age or physically disabled. Qualified citizens may go to City Hall and complete the proper forms requesting this service, according to the release.
The form will be forwarded to the Road and Bridge department for processing. This program will only remove the wind row that the plow has created in the entrance to the driveway.
People that refuse to move their vehicles or place snow in the street face a fine of up to $300, plus any cost related to towing the vehicle, the release stated.
In the release, the police department and road and bridge employees ask residents for cooperation. Anyone who is going to be out of town for an extended period is asked to make arrangements for off street parking. If it snows more than 2 inches residents are asked to move vehicles off the street.
Those who don't have access to off-street parking are asked to relocate vehicles after the plow has gone by.
Code enforcement Officers will be doing most of the "Red Tagging" of vehicles this year. If you have questions please call 970-826-2374.