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Get ready for winter

Get ready for winter

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BLOOMINGTON - Business and home owners might want to have the shovel handy to clean snow off Bloomington sidewalks and residents in Normal need to make sure they know when the town issues a parking ban because of the weather.

City ordinances require Bloomington property owners to shovel off the walks in front of their property or they could face a $50 to $500 fine if someone complains. Winter weather-related ordinances and procedures were reviewed Monday by the Bloomington City Council.

There are similar ordinances in Normal, including one approved in 2005 requiring business owners in the town's central business district to shovel the walks as well.

Mark Huber, Bloomington Planning and Code Enforcement director, said most often someone would be warned first if they didn't shovel their snow.

"We want compliance, not the fine income," Huber said. "This is an ordinance that is enforced only if someone complains."

When accumulation of snow warrants it, the town and city will issue parking bans. In Bloomington that means no parking on the major and secondary streets all of which are posted with the red snow route signs. However, Normal Public Works Director Mike Hall said when the ban is issued for Normal, it means every street.

In either community, violating the parking ban could mean a ticket or a tow. Hall said a list of parking lots available is usually issued with the ban so those who routinely park on the street have a place to put their cars.

Rick Clem, Bloomington director of public service, said when a parking ban is issued in the city, people will be directed to park in one of the parking decks downtown. The last time Bloomington issued a parking ban was in 1999, Clem said, when the area was socked with a record snow fall.

During the council's meeting, Clem also reviewed the routes and practices for snow plowing.

Primary streets in Bloomington plowed first include Market, Morris Avenue, Locust, Hershey Road and downtown. Secondary streets include Grove, Hannah, Broadmoor Drive and Wood and those near schools are plowed next. After that, residential streets, then alleys, are plowed, Clem said.

In Normal, there are four types of streets given priority. Hall said main streets such as Linden, Mulberry College Avenue and Towanda Avenue are plowed first. Secondary streets include Walnut, Fairview and streets near schools are next, followed by the third category of residential streets and finally small streets and alleys.


When there is more than 2 inches of snow in:

Bloomington

Shoveling: Sidewalks must be cleared of snow or ice by owners or occupants of any building within four hours of the end of the storm. This ordinance is enforced on a complaint basis. Fines are $50 to $500.

Plowing and salting: Primary, secondary and downtown streets are plowed and salted, all residential streets are plowed and only intersections, hills and curves are salted.

Parking ban: Announced between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on any day of the week. Residents have four hours from the time ban is announced to move cars off of primary and secondary city streets and downtown which are marked as snow routes.

Normal

Shoveling: By ordinance sidewalks in the must be cleared of snow or ice by owners or occupants buildings in the central business district within four hours of the end of the storm. Fines are $25 to $200.

Plowing and salting: Primary, secondary and downtown streets are plowed and salted, all residential streets are plowed and only intersections, hills and curves are salted.

Parking ban: the director of public works can declare a snow emergency (a "no parking" ban on all Town streets goes into effect when a snow emergency is declared). The supervisor of street maintenance then coordinates with the Police Department for the ticketing and towing of all vehicles parked on town streets, which interfere with operations after the declaration.

Sources: Bloomington Director of Public Service Rick Clem, Normal Public Works Director Mike Hall, www.normal.org.

Compiled by M.K. Guetersloh

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