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Loyalsock Township supervisors to draft snow emergency ordinance for streets

Loyalsock Township supervisors will consider prohibiting parking on certain streets during a snow emergency and are in the process of drafting an ordinance in preparation for winter.

The target area would be more densely populated streets where snow plow operators have had a challenge in previous years.

One issue that needs addressed is when people move their car to the street when they have a driveway, said Bill Burdett, township manager.

People also may put chairs out to block their parking spot and plows end up pushing them into yards, he added.

The ordinance is proposed to go into effect whenever there is more than 2 inches of snow, and the area under consideration would be more residential in nature.

The staff proposed issuing a warning notice on first offense, using a red envelope put underneath the vehicle windshield wiper. The fine for a second offense would be $25 if payment is made within four days or $35 if later, with a potential criminal complaint and maximum penalty of $300 under the state vehicle code, Burdett said. Towing would be the last resort, he said.

There would be exceptions such as if a vehicle owner can prove they could not park off-street or were otherwise unable to move the vehicle.

Supervisor Paul Nyman asked who would be responsible for the notices and enforcement.

“That can be handled through staff,” Burdett said.

Public works employees can recognize which vehicles routinely are in violation, Burdett said.

Supervisor Marc C. Sortman, chairman of the board, noted the draft ordinance did not indicate the odd/even days as a means of getting cars off streets for the plow operators.

Supervisor Rick Wheeland suggested that signage be added as it is done in nearby Montoursville, adding he planned to inspect the borough and its signage placement to see if that could be work for the township, should the signs be what supervisors agree to.

Supervisor John Bower Jr. said he agreed but added: “They could say they did not see a sign.”

Township Solicitor Mike Wiley suggested the supervisors consider a pilot program in a specific area of the township to see how it goes, noting the amount of work staff would have if the ordinance was implemented and too broad of a scope of enforcement area was in place.

It was agreed by consensus of the five supervisors that if the ordinance is drafted, and it likely is moving toward that, the public may be educated further through notices, newspaper articles, news releases and the township newsletter. The newsletter does not publish until February, however.

No official action was taken on the matter, which was a discussion item.

An official news release will be provided if or when the supervisors approve a formal proposal.

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