Jul 28, 2014
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Mayor Asks Attorney General for Opinion on Snow Plowing Bill

City Administrator also outlined concerns about the bill at the board's public work session.

Mayor Asks Attorney General for Opinion on Snow Plowing Bill

At Monday night's Lake Saint Louis Board of Aldermen meeting, Mayor Mike Potter told the board that he had sent a copy of a recently-passed ordinance to the Missouri Attorney General for an opinion on its constitutionality.

Potter had spoken out against the bill, which provides snowplowing on private streets, and questioned its constitutionality when it was passed by the board on August 20. He vetoed the bill but his veto was overridden by the board on Sept. 5.

The board had directed city staff to address any areas of concern in an amendment to the bill.

During Monday night's work session, City Administrator Paul Markworth said that staff had three primary areas of concern:

  1. The definition of private street
  2. How the city would confirm access to private property
  3. Indemnification

Markworth said that the condition that the city would not plow commercial or apartment complex private streets was already written into the amendment bill. The bill also included a definition of "homeowner's association" (HOA) that could also be extended to include condo associations. Under the new ordinance, HOAs are eligible for up to $15,000 in reimbursement from the city if they contract for their own snowplowing.

Markworth expressed his concerns both about accessing private property and indemnifying the city against damages that might be caused by the snowplows.

Although police can access private property when investigating a crime or when they get a complaint, other city staff such as code enforcements officials have to get a warrant from a judge, he said.

"When it comes to public works staff," Markworth said, "I'm not sure how that works."

City Attorney Matt Reh said that the city might need to require all the residents of a private street to sign a document giving permission for the snowplowing and indemnifying the city against lawsuits.

Markworth also brought up an additional problem of private streets that have parking lots attached.

The board voted to table the amendment until more research can be done.

"The devil's in the details," Ward 2 Alderman Karen Vennard said. "And there are too many details here left uncovered."

READ MORE:

  • Mayor Defends Snowplowing Veto; Board Votes to Override
  • City Passes Bill to Snowplow Private Streets; Mayor May Veto
  • Former Alderman Questions Public Money to Plow Private Streets
  • Snow in July: Lake Saint Louis Discusses Plowing Private Streets

 

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