Avon cracks down on snowy winter | VailDaily.com

Avon cracks down on snowy winter

Lauren Glendenning
Avon, CO Colorado
Special to the DailySnow plow drivers in the town of Avon are required to have a yellow flashing light, like the one seen here, on top of their vehicles.

AVON, Colorado ” The town of Avon, Colorado has been having various snow plowing problems with this winter.

There have been a lot of complaints to the public works department about big piles of snow building up on town streets, said Becky Lawlor, spokeswoman for the town.

Residents and business owners who hire people to do their plowing have to make sure they’re hiring licensed snowplow drivers, too, she said.

“They have to be licensed through the town of Avon,” she said.

Avon laws say a sidewalk’s bordering property owner has to plow that sidewalk, and they have to do it within 24 hours or face up to $1,000 fine for each day it’s not plowed, said Jennifer Strehler, public works director.

“The last couple winters, it’s been really tough trying to get a handle on it,” she said.

Some people just don’t realize they’re responsible, she said, while others are either waiting too long to plow or they’re hiring the wrong people for the job.

Licensed contractors within the town can get a plowing license for free, but they still have to file the paperwork. For those not already licensed as contractors, it’s $35 to get the plowing license.

A licensed plow driver means they’ve read the rules, and know not to do things like leave large snow piles in the street or haul snow to places where it doesn’t belong. Every property has to have a place for snow storage. Without one, it’s a civil infraction and people can be brought to court, Strehler said.

As for the town, which spends about $160,000 on snow removal each month, it has easements in some areas so it can move snow aside without infringing on people’s property rights. In Wildridge, the town’s snowplows have 10 feet from the side of the road to move the snow.

“We have the right to throw snow up there, even if it’s private property,” Strehler said. “Some people don’t realize that.”

When the next big storm comes, and Strehler knows it’ll come, she’s hoping some of these problems will decrease. When residents and business owners do their part, the town can focus on its own work, she said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com

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