Winter Weather Treatment Policy

GENERAL OVERVIEW:  This Winter Weather Policy is a general policy to help residents understand the city’s approach to dealing with typical winter storms. It is a general guideline only. Pre-treatment, plowing and salting operations will be evaluated on an event-by-event basis, based on the type, temperature, severity, longevity, and timing of the winter event.

For the purpose of this policy, Primaries are streets classified as primary and secondary, which includes state routes, hills, bridges, and the streets immediately surrounding schools. Residentials include tertiary (branches off of Primaries) streets, local (or residential) streets, dead-end streets and cul-de-sacs.  For reference to street classification, please see the Snow Removal Priorities Map.

PRE-TREATMENT - Salt brine pre-treatment will be applied to all Primaries and Residential when conditions permit in an effort to treat small storms of one inch or less. This treatment will also help alleviate larger snows from bonding to the road making it easier to plow. When the forecast allows, City crews may pre-treat Residentials one or two days in advance of the forecasted event. Primaries will be pre-treated as close the forecasted event as possible, to minimize the elimination of brine by heavy vehicular traffic.

PLOWING OPERATIONS - Plowing will begin once Primaries are covered by three or more inches of snow, regardless of the time of day or night of the event. Only Primaries will be plowed while snow is falling. Once snowfall has ceased and the Primaries are cleared, plowing of Residentials may begin, provided plowing will not begin until the first regular work day after the storm has ended. Plowing of Residentials will continue during regular work hours until they have been plowed curb to curb. In the case of a major event (four or more inches of snow), plowing of Residentials during regular work hours may be restricted to providing a single path, in order to provide two-way traffic on these streets.

SALTING OPERATIONS - Once plowing of Primaries has been completed, and the snow has stopped falling, Primaries only may be salted. In the event that no pre-treatment was applied before the storm, salting Primaries may occur prior to plowing. In the event the City determines it is necessary to salt Residentials, salting will take place during regular work hours and include intersections only. This policy shall be enforced unless exceptional circumstances warrant emergency measures, as determined by the Director of Public Service and Safety, in consultation with the Mayor.