The cold and icy weather last month caused some snow plows in Oregon to damage some irrigation systems in the city right-of-way, which angered some residents, according to Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian.
“We had a couple of people complain that city snow plows have hit irrigation systems just off the curb and they are fairly angry, thinking the city is responsible for that,” said Seferian at a council meeting last month.
One of the complaints was from a resident located in the Sweetwater addition, on the west side of Pearson Metropark.
Residents’ anger is misdirected, however, said Seferian, because the city is not at fault. Residents who put in the irrigation systems are responsible for their repair.
“Irrigation systems are not a permitted use in the public right-of-way, and that’s where these have been damaged,” he said.
“However, the city doesn’t go out and make people take those irrigation systems out. So if they are put in, they are put in at these people’s own risks,” said Seferian. Plows occasionally go over curbs trying to clear streets, he added, and will sometimes hit the irrigation systems in icy weather.
“So it’s the residents’ responsibility. It’s been our policy that they have to repair them themselves,” he said.
Some residents, he said, believe the irrigation systems were deliberately damaged, which is untrue.
“I’m sure that’s not the case. The streets’ crew have a job to do. And I know just in the last few storms we’ve had, we’ll have some ice in the subdivisions, and we try to do the best we can and conserve the salt so we have it by the end of the year. We’re trying to improve and keep the streets in as good condition as we can. Some of this stuff may happen, so you may get the calls,” he said to council.
“If we knocked down a mailbox, the city would replace it because they are a permitted use in the right-of-way,” Seferian said after the meeting. “But for these irrigation systems, they are put in by residents at their own risk.”