Amherst tweaks snow re­moval poli­cies

Town to clear side­walks in front of down­town busi­nesses

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - BY DAR­RELL COLE

AMHERST — With the first ma­jor snow­storm pos­si­bly on the hori­zon, Amherst has made a few tweaks to its snow re­moval poli­cies.

Upon the re­quest of the Down­town Amherst Business Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee, the town is go­ing to clear a path in front of busi­nesses after snow­storms.

“The cur­rent snow re­moval by­law re­quires all own­ers of prop­er­ties along most streets in the down­town to com­pletely re­move all snow and ice from the side­walk and gut­ter in front of their business,” Deputy Mayor George Baker told Mon­day’s Novem­ber coun­cil ses­sion. “The in­tent of this by­law is to en­sure a high level of side­walk snow clear­ing for pedes­trian ac­tiv­ity in the down­town.”

Baker said the is­sue was dis­cussed dur­ing a meet­ing ear­lier this month with the down­town business group and the decision was made to have town crews clear a 42inch patch along the side­walk and have the by­law re­quire the own­ers to main­tain the side­walk sur­face keep­ing it free of ice and snow.

Snow re­moval in the down­town has been a touchy sub­ject among business own­ers, es­pe­cially after ma­jor snow­falls. Business own­ers faced sanc­tion from the town if they failed to clear a path after a storm.

The town is also merg­ing a num­ber of old snow-re­lated poli­cies into a new snow and ice man­age­ment pol­icy. Most of the poli­cies are re­main­ing in ef­fect, but there have been some mi­nor changes in­clud­ing snow to be re­moved from cer­tain boule­vards within 48 hours of a snow­fall of 10 cen­time­tres or more. The old pol­icy was to have snow moved by 10 p.m. the night of a storm. The lists of streets was also changed. The bare pave­ment re­quire­ment now ex­pects that goal to be reached within 12 hours of a snow event, while snow plow­ing dur­ing ma­jor storms has been ad­justed to re­move the re­quire­ment that all res­i­dents be within a block of a plowed street and added Aca­dia and Prince Arthur streets to the pri­or­ity list due to the present lo­ca­tion of the po­lice depart­ment.

It also changed one of the emer­gency park­ing lots, where peo­ple can leave ve­hi­cles dur­ing a storm, from the Blanch park­ing lot on Prince Arthur Street to be­hind the Do­min­ion Pub­lic Build­ing.

It also ad­dresses pri­or­i­ties and ser­vice lev­els for snow clear­ing.

“The ob­jec­tive is that all streets will be cleaned of snow within six hours from the end of a snow­storm of up to 30 cen­time­tres,” Baker said.

Coun­cil also put its win­ter park­ing ban into ef­fect, with only Coun. Robert Bird vot­ing against the mea­sure.

Un­til April 15, ve­hi­cles are pro­hib­ited from be­ing parked on town streets be­tween mid­night and 7 a.m. re­gard­less of weather con­di­tions.

Bird said he pre­ferred if a common sense ap­proach were adopted like in other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, but Coun. Terry Rhin­dress dis­agreed say­ing snow may fall in the mid­dle of the night.

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