City sets emergency snow routes
Marion City Council agreed with interim city administrator Roger Holter that something needed to change with the city’s snow removal procedure. A new ordinance passed at Monday’s meeting set emergency routes and prohibited parking on emergency streets from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. when snow is forecasted.
“Right now it takes crews about five passes to get Main St. cleared,” Holter said. “If it only took them one pass, that’s four other passes crews could be completing on secondary routes.”
The cause for many passes, according to Holter is the cars parked along Main St.
“Right now, police and city crews go around to businesses and ask them to move their vehicles,” Holter said. “Most people are really nice about it, but we get some who aren’t. This way moving is mandatory so crews can get the street cleared.”
People who willfully refuse to move their vehicles can face up to a $500 fine.
In a snow event, parking on Main St. from Vine to Eisenhower Sts., South Third St. from Main to southern city limits, S. Freeborn St. from Main St. to St. Luke Hospital, all of Cedar St., and Eisenhower Dr. from Main to Kellison Sts., would be prohibited.
“In order to keep traffic moving and crews clearing, parking is prohibited on emergency routes until the snow event is over and city crews have removed all ice and snow,” Holter said.
The designated routes will allow all major arteries around town to be cleared first, then allow crews to move on to secondary streets. Signs will mark emergency routes and a text alert will be sent out by the city when emergency routes will be used.
Residents asked to number their houses
A resolution was passed that requests residents put house numbers on their houses to help identify them.
“What is happening is we’re having trouble finding houses, especially in the dark when we go to respond to a call,” Police Chief Tyler Mermis said. “We have to guess by process of elimination what house we’re supposed to be responding to, and that slows our response time.”
The resolution requests residents to display their address with numbers on their house no less than 4 inches and no bigger than 6 inches to be visible from a minimum of 150 feet away and from the adjacent roadway.
“There’s a surprising number of residences and businesses around town that don’t have their addresses visible,” Holter said. “Several times city crews have not been able to find the residence they are supposed to be completing a work order at and have had to return to the shop and contact the resident for more information on their location.”
Holter said the biggest worry is for emergency crews not being able to find a residence to respond to a call.
The resolution carries no fine.
“We want to make residents aware of the problem and hopefully we can get results without requiring it, but if it continues to be an issue, we will request the council pass an ordinance to require residents to post their addresses,” Holter said.
Residents and businesses are asked to post addresses by July 2014.