Even with the temperature outside hovering just below 100 degrees, the were thinking about snow and ice at Monday night's work session.
The city is considering some options in order to provide snowplowing services to residents who live on eight miles of private streets in the community. Director Derek Koestel had several options for the board to consider.
- Option #1 would budget a set amount to reimburse homeowners' associations who hired a contractor to plow private streets. Koestel suggested a cap of $15,000 on that amount, $1800 per lane mile. This option would required an established and active homeowners association (HOA). A trustee would submit paperwork to the city in May, and the city would pay out the reimbursement in June.
- Option #2 also requires an active HOA that contracts snow plowing services. In this scenario, however, the city would reimburse actual costs. Only street plowing would be reimbursed, and the city would not cover costs to plow sidewalks or invidual driveways. The board would have to estimate a budget in this option, and that might be difficult without knowing how much contractors might charge.
- In Option #3, the city would hire the contractors, and the city's current plowing zones would be adjusted. The contracted plows would be working on public streets as well as private streets. The city would still handle salt distribution.
In both option #1 and #2, Koestel said, there would be no need for the city to indemnify the services. Because the HOA was hiring its own contractor, that contractor would be responsible for any damages caused by the snowplows. The city would set a minimum amount for snowfall, such as two inches, which would be measured at city hall.
The aldermen generally agreed that Option #1 was the best choice. Ward 2 Alderman Karen Vennard said she wasn't sure about the plan, but she was willing to look at an ordinance.
Staff were directed to write up the ordinance to present at the next meeting, which will be August 6.
"If we have to hire contractors, it's going to take some time," Koestel said.