The Marshall City Council modified an ordinance last week to require the owners of private streets to clear snow within 24 hours of a storm or risk having the city hire a contractor to do it and sending them a bill.
Ilya Gutman, assistant planning and zoning commissioner, said the city has received complaints about unplowed private roads, but until the ordinance was modified, it lacked clear authority over those streets.
Residents of the Broadmoor Valley mobile home park were among those complaining about uncleared snow from private streets.
Misty Butler, a volunteer organizer with the residents’ Broadmoor Valley Association, which claims to represent 85 percent of the park’s 78 occupied units, distributed 11 photos showing the park’s roads after several storms. After one big storm last March, she said, residents were snowbound because the park’s snowplow was broken. Complaints to park management went nowhere, so a resident hired a plow to clear the street. She said she was worried that her daughter would get fired if she didn’t get to work.
Christina Izquierdo, a Broadmoor Valley resident for six years, said after a storm on New Year’s Eve, the plow was broken again and garbage haulers refused to enter the park until the streets were cleared. Residents were unable to get to work, causing missed pay and absenteeism, she said. The city devised a plan to have a contractor plow ahead of emergency vehicles if they needed to enter the park, she added.
Jesus Hernandez, a park resident for 18 years, said families were being harmed by the situation “financially, emotionally and also psychologically.”
Paul Schierholz of Colorado Springs, the owner of the park, did not respond to a request for comment.
Initially, the city was going to give business owners and residents just 12 hours after a snowstorm to plow private streets. But some said that wasn’t enough time. It could create a situation where street clearing might have to start in the middle of the night, they said. Or it might not provide enough time to hire someone to do the work after a heavy storm.
The council amended the proposed ordinance to give property owners 24 hours. “The point is, get the sidewalks clean, get the streets clean, let people through,” said Council Member John DeCramer.