Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian said the public should realize when a snow emergency is issued, there should not be vehicles parked on the streets so that plows can clear away the snow.
“We hope people do move them. There have been occasions when we’ve had cars towed. We haven’t lately. Not this year,” said Seferian at a council meeting on Monday. “But we keep trying to threaten it and hope they’ll be moved. People have an obligation to do it. For the most part, people do it. People actually start doing it a lot of times before we call the snow emergencies.”
“Sometimes you learn the hard way,” said Public Service Director Paul Roman. “In some cases, if you’re the last car on the road, and you’re driveway is close to where you parked, when that plow comes through, it leaves a bigger wedge than what you normally would have had. Granted, everyone is going to have a pile of snow at the bottom of their aprons after the plow goes through. But it can be a lot worse when a plow goes through there.”
Roman said city plows can get the main roads cleared usually within 16 hours of a snow storm.
“That’s assuming there’s no other snow, no drifting, the event is done, and they can go straight into the subdivisions,” he said.
When the plows encounter a parked vehicle, they will turn around if they can’t get around it, he added.
Councilman Joshua Hughes said there are people in his neighborhood who are not complying.
“There have been several individuals in my neighborhood thus far this year who haven’t gotten the message,” said Hughes. “Cars remain nonetheless. And my neighbors then ask me, `The city has issued a snow emergency, and the cars are supposed to be removed, so why is it every time the plow has to go around these vehicles?”
Seferian said the city, at some point, will issue tickets to residents whose vehicles are blocking the snow plows.
Also at the meeting, council:
• Approved the purchase of a new prisoner transport vehicle. The city will purchase the 2014 Ford E250 cargo van from Mathews Ford for $16,324, which is less than the original price of $22,324 due to a trade in credit worth $6,000.
The new vehicle is replacing another van from 1995. “It was in dire need of being replaced,” said Police Chief Mike Navarre.
• Approved the purchase of two solar powered message boards from Howard T. Moriarty Co., Toledo, for $42,655.62 to be used by the street and water divisions.
• Heard Councilman Tim Zale comment on the death last month of John Oberwegner, who had retired as an Oregon police sergeant in 1992.
“John was a really well liked sergeant with the Oregon police division,” said Zale, who is also retired from the Oregon police division. He contributed an awful lot to the department while I was here. He was instrumental in starting the special response team, instrumental in getting our weapons updated years ago to where we went to semi-automatic handguns. We were proud to have him here.”