Snow & ice removal policy

Purpose

The purpose and intent of this policy is to outline the procedures used for snow and ice control, and an understanding of how they apply to the Town of Red Hook.

Goal

 It is the goal of the Town of Red Hook Highway Department to provide cost effective winter maintenance in a timely manner to achieve passable, reasonably safe roadways during the snow and ice season for the benefit of the Town’s residents and the general motoring public. However, at times the roads will be slippery and drivers will have to exercise caution, as the Town of Red Hook does not have a bare roads policy.

 Procedure

The Superintendent of Highways or a designated representative will perform all supervision of winter maintenance activities.

 Equipment

 The Town currently uses 6 plow trucks, each equipped with a front mounted one-way plow, right side wing, and sander for the majority of its snow and ice control operations. A smaller dump truck with an all angle plow and slide in sander is used for smaller roads and maintaining Town owned properties. On occasion a pickup truck with plow may also be dispatched.

Personnel

 The Town currently has 8 full time employees who operate the Town’s equipment. Additional help may be called in as needed to assist in plowing operations during snow and ice events. 

Materials and Application

 On paved roads the typical material used is a 50/50 salt and sand mix. The salt may be treated with magnesium chloride at a rate of 7 gallons per ton. The rate of application of materials depends on many factors such as type of precipitation, temperature, duration and intensity of the storm.

Routes

 The Town of Red Hook is divided into 6 plow routes, approximately 10 miles in length each and taking about 3.5 hours to complete.

Level of service

During Snow Storms

 The initial effort for paved roads is an application of salt/sand mix to prevent the bonding of snow and ice to the pavement. Priority is given to main roads. Subsequent efforts during the storm will be the plowing of snow and re-application of salt/sand at intervals frequent enough during the storm to attempt to maintain passable road conditions. After the storm has passed, a final plowing to remove snow and ice shall be made along with a final application of salt/sand. In the event of severe icing there may be an increase of salt/sand application.

Follow-up after storms

 Crews continue to monitor all routes for ice problems and/or drifting conditions and plow and treat as necessary. The following is a partial list of conditions, which could exist, that may hinder the efforts outlined in this policy.

  Equipment breakdown  Personnel illness  Shortage of Materials  Snow accumulation in excess of 1” per hour  Assisting emergency responders  Disabled vehicle  An event that is expected to last more than 24 hours

Property Damage

 The plows used by the Town of Red Hook are designed to deposit snow onto the shoulder area of the roadway, approximately four feet from the traveled portion of the road. This is typically the same area mailboxes are placed, as well as fences, shrubs, and garbage to be picked up. After heavy accumulations of snow the plow trucks may “shelf back” snow banks to make room for more snow and to help visibility. This may result in snow banks being moved another 6-8 feet off the roadway. The snowplow drivers make great efforts to avoid the obstacles, however sometimes damage does occur. As a courtesy, it is the Town’s policy to repair or replace mailboxes located in this snow storage area if the Town Clerk’s office is notified within 72 hours, the mailbox complied with USPS specifications and was in good repair, and there is evidence of the plow actually contacting the mailbox. Items damaged by snow alone will not be repaired or replaced. The town will only provide a standard black or white mailbox and treated wood post with spike, or reimbursement of actual replacement cost of up to $100. The town will not be responsible for damage to garbage cans, fences, shrubs, lawns or other landscaping.

Other Considerations

 It is illegal to place snow from driveways, walks or other privately owned areas into the road. Violators can be ticketed for creating a hazardous situation. Basketball hoops must be removed from the right of way before November 1st. The Town will not be held responsible for damage to basketball hoops that are not removed. The Town of Red Hook has adopted the following parking regulations, in effect from November 15th to April 15th, which state that there is “No Parking on Town Roads from 11 pm to 7 am”. Vehicles parked illegally or abandoned on roads are subject to towing at the owner’s expense and may be ticketed. Residents are strongly encouraged to remove their vehicles from the roadway during any snow event in order to facilitate the town plowing operations and reduce the risk of property damage. Town of Red Hook, 2017