(Neb)-City Council Picks Up Snow Emergency Towing Charges Listen
CHADRON - The Chadron City Council has decided to pay the $200 towing charges of 10 vehicles for violating the city's snow emergency rules last month during a emergency that wasn't adequately announced.
City Manager Greg Yanker explained to the council that the city has relied on the media - especially Chadrad.com - to get the word out when a snow emergency is declared, but this one slipped through the cracks and wasn't posted or aired until after the vehicles had been towed. On top of that, the city didn't put up any announcement of its own on the city website.
Further complicating the issue was the fact that a snow emergency had been declared the previous morning during which the curb and travel lanes had been cleared with most of the snow windrowed into the center of the street. Yanker said a person could have assumed that the streets had been cleared with no further emergency needed, and these 10 drivers apparently did.
Six of the towed vehicles belonged to residents of the Blaine Hotel and were parked in the 100 block of East 2nd Street. Three others were on the 100 block of West 2nd and one was on 3rd Street.
Chief Tim Lordino said none had been ticketed, which seemed to help convince the council to agree to pick up the towing costs.
Yanker told the council that to help avoid similar incidents in the future, he was recommending the council revise the snow emergency ordinance to make it clear the city has the prime responsibility for public notification of snow emergencies. He recommended using the Code Red phone alert system, available free to all residents, as the primary outlet.
Councilman Miles Bannan liked the concept as a way to both make sure messages were getting out and that there would documentation that they did.
The council members and Yanker made it clear that once the new notification rules are in place, the responsibility for being aware of a snow emergency declaration will lie solely with the vehicle owners - making it important they make sure they've signed up for Code Red.
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