Communicating snow ordinance a topic of discussion

Friday, October 16, 2020

With winter approaching, Alta City Council members, at the Oct. 5th meeting, discussed better ways to communicate to residents the city’s snow ordinance.

Residents sometimes park on the street during a snow emergency, saying they did not know of the ordinance, resulting in a ticket and snowplows unable to plow all parts of the street.

“It’s an ordinance you can’t park on the streets between November and April,” Mayor Kevin Walsh said. However, he is in favor of working with people who were not aware of the ordinance.

Walsh believes it might be time for changes to the ordinance. “I just want the council to think about it, between now and our next meeting,” he said.

“There are so many people trying to find a place to park in the wintertime. Try to work with them. We usually work with them anyway. I just think there’s got to be a better way than how we do it now,” he said.

When a snowstorm approaches, parking ban information is put on the city’s Facebook page and web site. Alta City Clerk Megan Peterson said, “So that’s the thing. Every time we think we get the word out, people will call and say, well, I don’t get channel 3 because I don’t have your cable. I don’t have Facebook. I just don’t know the best way to communicate it.” One council member suggested they put up flyers with snow ordinance information in the 2 Alta convenience stores.

Mayor Walsh said last year there were instances when people would come to town and park on the street overnight and get tickets, but they may not have been aware of the ordinance.

Peterson puts responsibility on the homeowner when a visitor is ticketed. “Most get parking tickets usually over the weekend when people have friends and family in town,” she said.

According to the Alta city code book, a snow emergency is the period of time declared by the Mayor during which snow removal policies shall be in effect. The snow emergency declared by the Mayor shall generally be for November 1 of each year until March 30. Additional snow emergency days may be declared by the Mayor as necessary.

Also from the city’s code book, “When the snow emergency period begins, cars parked on the streets will be ticketed with notices stating: “Effective Immediately; Winter Parking Regulations are now in force. No parking on the streets or within eight (8) feet of the curbs between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. of any day except for the 100 and 200 block of Main Street and E. and W. 2nd Street between Main Street and Prospect Street and Main Street and Cherokee Street where the hours are 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. in order to facilitate the removal of snow from city streets. Violators will have their vehicle towed away and cost assessed to the owner.”