By Jennifer Kotila
HOWARD LAKE, MN Howard Lake city workers had no problems clearing the snow from city sidewalks following the first big snow the city has received since it changed its ordinance.
“It takes about two-and-one-half to three hours to clear all the sidewalks in Howard Lake of snow,” said Tim Kosek, street building and ground superintendent.
Very few cities remove the snow from all the sidewalks throughout town, noted City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller.
The city received about 16 inches of thick, heavy snow in Sunday’s snowstorm, according to reports Kosek heard from citizens.
“We were right in the heavier belt of snow,” Kosek noted, adding that people have been appreciative that the city has taken on the responsibility for clearing snow.
Public works employees worked Sunday evening into Monday morning clearing the streets.
“It was a wet, heavy snow. When you get that, the trucks slip and slide all over,” Kosek said, adding that if he stopped, he had to back up to get a running start at it again.
The snow was already packed down on some of the more well-traveled streets in town before public works began their work, and the snow was more difficult to remove.
Kosek was in the plow truck again Thursday, after temperatures had warmed a little, attempting to clear the remaining hard-packed snow from the streets.
Although the city removes snow from the sidewalks, it does not put down chemicals or salt.
Citizens with sidewalks in front of their homes are asked to assist the city in keeping sidewalks clear of ice by putting down salt.
It is also against city ordinance for residents to blow or push snow onto city streets. If that occurs, the snow will be pushed back into the driveway, Kosek noted.
Also, the city does its best to keep snow removed from around fire hydrants, but does not always get to them all.
Residents with fire hydrants in front of their homes are asked to clear snow from around them if needed.
During the winter season, parking is not allowed overnight on city streets in order to make it possible to remove snow.
Residents who have been parking on city streets recently have been issued warnings.
Now, cars parked on city streets overnight will be ticketed.
Finally, residents are reminded not to pile snow on top of raingardens, as it can damage them.