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During the initial assessment by the Street Maintenance Superintendent, or applicable designees, to determine the type and magnitude of impending weather, a dialogue is started with the On Duty Supervisor of the City Police. If there is sufficient information, (i.e. forecast of large accumulation of snow, poor driving conditions, whenever Frederick County or declared an emergency, etc.), it will be passed along the chain of command for both the City Police and the Department of Operations. Once a recommendation to implement the Snow Emergency Plan has been made the Deputy Director of Operations, or applicable designees, with the approval of the Mayor, shall initiate the Snow Emergency Policy.
Upon receiving approval, the Public Works Department shall notify the Public Information Officer (PIO) via cell phone and email, who will in turn contact the local media, including the local radio station, the Frederick News Post, Cable Channel 99, and the local TV stations. The notice provided to the media shall include the time the Snow Emergency will take effect, which will be at least 2 hours after the Notice has been given to the media. Any other relevant facts, such as parking restrictions, driving restrictions, etc, shall also be provided upon declaring the Snow Emergency.
After the Snow Emergency has been declared, citizens will have two hours to remove their vehicles from snow emergency routes within the City limits. After the two hour period, the Police Department will initiate enforcement, which could include a parking citation and removal of cars remaining on snow emergency routes. Enforcement and removal of vehicles will be coordinated between Public Works and the Police Department. After the need for the Snow Emergency has been eliminated, the Department of Public Works will notify the PIO, who will in turn notify the media.
Should the Mayor be unavailable, The Mayor's designee will assume the duties to approve the declaration of a Snow Emergency.
During the declaration of a Snow Emergency, and on streets designated as Snow Emergency Routes in this Snow Plans, there shall be No Parking allowed. Any vehicles parked on these streets may be towed at the owner's expense. Also, snow tires or chains will be required on any vehicles traveling on these routes
The intent of salting first is to ensure that a brine layer forms, which minimizes the amount of ice that accumulated on the streets. We almost without fail salt all the streets first to ensure the brine layer is in place.
To salt it takes anywhere from five to seven hours depending on road and traffic conditions. We almost always complete the salting before plow operations begin. Additionally, the city utilizes trucks that both apply salt and plow, so it would be impossible in most instances to do both at the same time.
(a) Public nuisance. The mayor and board of aldermen hereby declare that an accumulation of snow or ice on public sidewalks is a public nuisance and creates an emergency situation. Within twelve (12) hours after snow stops falling, a person owning or occupying a lot or part of a lot abutting a city sidewalk shall remove the snow and ice from the abutting sidewalk for a width of four (4) feet, or the width of the sidewalk, whichever is less.
(b) Notice of violation. If the owner or occupant fails to remove the snow and ice as required by this section, the code official shall post a notice of violation in a conspicuous place on the property notifying the property owner or occupant to remove the snow and ice as required by this section.
(c) Municipal infraction. If the property owner or occupant fails to comply with the notice of violation within twenty-four (24) hours after its posting, the code official may issue a citation for a municipal infraction. The penalty for violation is a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00).
(d) Abatement. If the property owner or occupant fails to comply with the notice of violation within twenty-four (24) hours after its posting, the code official may cause the snow and ice to be removed. The costs of removal will be charged to the property owner and will be liens upon the property to be collected in the same manner as municipal taxes are collected.
(e) Administrative appeal. A property owner may appeal a notice of violation within five (5) working days of the posting of the notice of violation by filing a written notice of appeal, stating the grounds for the appeal, with the code official. The filing of a notice of appeal does not stay any enforcement action. Upon receipt of a notice of appeal, the code official shall schedule a hearing before the building code appeals board and shall notify the property owner of the date and time of the hearing. At the hearing, the property owner may present witnesses and other evidence and may cross-examine witnesses. The city has the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that this section has been violated. The building code appeals board may affirm the action of the code official or reverse the action based upon a finding that (1) this section has been incorrectly interpreted; or (2) that the condition described in the notice of violation did not exist or did not constitute a violation of this section. In reversing the action being appealed, the building code appeals board shall order that any applicable charge assessed by the city be nullified.
(f) Judicial review. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the building code appeals board may, within ten (10) days of the decision, file a petition for judicial review in the circuit court for Frederick County in accordance with the Maryland Rules applicable to judicial review of administrative agency decisions.
(Ord. No. G-08-1, § 1, 1-3-08)
Editor's note— Ord. No. G-08-1, adopted January 3, 2008, repealed and reenacted § 22-16 which pertained to removal of snow and ice from sidewalks and derived from Ord. No. G-94-82, § 1, 11-17-94.
Sec. 22-16.1. - Placing snow in public way.
(a) A person may not plow, shovel, or otherwise deposit snow or ice onto a public street or sidewalk. Violation of this section is hereby declared to be a municipal infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00).
(b) A person violating this section and the owner of any property from which the snow or ice originated are jointly and severably liable for any costs incurred by the City in (1) removing the snow or ice; and (2) repairing any damage to City property that results from the violation.
(Ord. No. G-82-12, § 1, 7-8-82; Ord. No. G-11-01, § I, 1-6-11)
There are many products used to de-ice surfaces. Consider using de-icing products that use acetate, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride or alternative ice melting products that have less of an impact on the environment.
Follow the directions supplied on the product packaging. Take care to apply light, even coats of product and re-apply as needed instead of one thick coat. Sweep up any excess product after the snow and ice event to prevent de-icer from entering the storm drain system unnecessarily.