The City of Elkader recently issued a snow emergency. Many cities around Elkader use this frequently but Elkader does not so we thought we should provide more information.
- A snow emergency means no parking on any city street during the specified timeframe.
- This can be issued based upon actual OR PREDICTED snow, sleet, freezing rain, or ice.
- Our Public Works Director and Police Chief determine if they think the non-emergency procedures will be sufficient due to the variables involved in a particular weather system. If not, they will work with the Mayor to declare a snow emergency.
- Declaring a snow emergency enables our crews to remove atypical amounts of ice/snow when that could not be done in the four-hour window of the non-emergency ordinance.
- Police officers are authorized to ticket, tow and impound any vehicle parked on a City street during a snow emergency.
During a non-emergency snow situation, no parking is allowed between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. if snow has accumulated on any portion of the paved roadway. Police officers are authorized to ticket.
The full text of the ordinance is included below. (All of the City codes are online and this ordinance can be viewed here.)
69.12 SNOW EMERGENCY PARKING.
The purpose of this section is to improve public safety during times when significant amounts of snow or ice accumulate on or are expected to accumulate on City streets.
1. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following are defined:
A. “Business District” shall have the same meaning set forth in Section 60.02
(1) of this Code of Ordinances.
B. “Park” or “Parking” shall have the same meaning set forth in Section 60.02
(3) of this Code of Ordinances.
C. “Mayor,” for purposes of this section, shall include, but shall not be limited to, designees such as the City Administrator/Clerk, Public Works Director, or Chief of Police.
D. “Vehicle” shall have the same meaning set forth in Section 60.02
(12) of this Code of Ordinances.
2. Declared Snow Emergencies.
A. The Mayor may declare a snow emergency any time the Mayor, in his sole discretion, determines the declaration of a snow emergency is necessary or desirable for purposes of facilitating the maintenance of public streets or preserving public health, safety, and welfare.
B. The Mayor may declare a snow emergency based upon actual or predicted snow, sleet, freezing rain, or ice.
3. Public Notification. The Mayor, upon declaring a snow emergency, shall utilize, at his discretion, all available communications media in the community to give notice to the public that a snow emergency is in effect, but failure of a person to receive such notice shall not constitute a defense to any prosecution for violation of the rules, regulations, and procedures prescribed by this chapter if snow has accumulated on any portion of the paved roadway.
4. Effective Times of Emergency.
A. A snow emergency shall commence immediately upon its declaration and shall last for 24 hours from the effective start time, unless otherwise indicated by the Mayor.
B. In no event shall the parking restrictions set forth in this section be enforced until two hours following the provision of notice to local media outlets as herein required.
5. Restrictions During Snow Emergency.
A. In the event of a conflict between the provisions of this section and any other section or provision of this Code of Ordinances, the provisions of this section shall control.
B. During a snow emergency no vehicle shall be parked on any City street.
C. During the effective period of a declared snow emergency, the identified portions of the following streets shall be shut down and made inaccessible for vehicle parking:
(1) Main Street (all portions within Business District).
(2) Mulberry Street (all portions within Business District).
(3) Bridge Street (all portions within Business District).
(4) Cedar Street (all portions within Business District).
(5) Spruce Street (all portions within Business District).
(6) First Street (between Bridge Street and Cedar Street NW).
6. Towing and Impounding of Illegally Parked Vehicles. During a snow emergency, members of the Police Department are authorized to tow and impound any vehicle parked on a City street in violation of this section. When such vehicle is reclaimed by its owner, there shall be assessed to said owner, in addition to any court-imposed fine and costs, a reasonable fee for towing and storage. Neither the City nor its employees or agents designated to move vehicles in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be responsible for any damage to such vehicle occasioned by such moving, towing, or storage. Any person who removes an impounded vehicle from any police-designated impounding area without first paying all fines, costs, towing, and storage charges, is guilty of a municipal infraction.
7. Violations and Penalties. In addition to or in lieu of having the vehicle towed, the owner of the vehicle or the person otherwise entitled to possession thereof found to be in violation of this section may be ticketed pursuant to the provisions of Section 70.03
of this Code of Ordinances. Each two-hour period a vehicle remains parked in violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. The ticket shall be placed on a conspicuous place on the offending vehicle or presented to the owner or operator of the vehicle, if that person is available.
8. Termination of Snow Emergency Parking Restrictions. Whenever the Mayor shall find that the conditions which gave rise to the snow emergency declaration no longer exist, the Mayor is authorized to declare the termination of the snow emergency parking restrictions set forth above, in whole or in part, effective immediately upon announcement. When the termination is announced, it shall then be lawful to park on those streets in accordance with the regular parking provisions. The Mayor shall request the cooperation of the local press, radio, and television media to announce the termination of the snow emergency parking restrictions.
9. Parking Restrictions During Snowfall Where No Snow Emergency Declared. In the event no snow emergency is declared, no person shall park, abandon, or leave unattended any vehicles on any public street, alley, or City-owned or operated off-street parking area between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. if snow has accumulated on any portion of the paved roadway.