Snow comes down but who makes it go away?

A fresh coating of 3-4 inches of snow early Monday morning was beautiful to look at, but not as pretty to get rid of. Cleaning sidewalks downtown was a topic of discussion for the Humboldt City Council this week. Humboldt Independent photo by Phil Monson.

The four-inch snowfall that occurred early Monday morning wasn’t unexpected, but it left some Humboldt downtown property owners perplexed as to the city’s response.
“I’ve had a couple of downtown people question me on city’s cleaning of snow off the sidewalks,” at large Council member Kirk Whittlesey said. “They understood that when we redid the downtown and removed the awnings that the city would provide assistance in getting the sidewalks cleared. It seems like it’s not working well,” Whittlesey said.
Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken admitted some policy confusion but said “timing is everything. Continuous snowfalls in the early morning hours are a challenge,” the city administrator said.
“I agree that it has been confusing. We (the city) try to put the emphasis that we assist. The ultimate responsibility is with the adjacent property owners. It’s in their best interest to make sure the snow does not sit in the gutter line,” Goedken said.
“About half of our businesses contract out for snow removal. I get a call from Barry Ramaeker with Lawn Ranger wanting to know how he is supposed to quote businesses, if the city is handling some of the snow removal. Too many variables are creating issues and confusion,” Goedken said.
Afer some further discussion, the Humboldt City Council unanimously agreed to have the city parks department assist the city street department in cleaning the sidewalks on Sumner Avenue once in the early morning hours. Accumulations during the day are the responsibility of the adjacent business owner if the business is open. If snow accumulations remain the following day, the city will repeat the procedure. Read more about the Humboldt City Council in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

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