Fines planned to stop residents from piling snow in streets

Fines planned to stop residents from piling snow in streets

CUMBERLAND - Frank Stowik, the Public Works foreman responsible for clearing Cumberland roads of snow and ice, has story after story to tell about residents who think nothing of shoveling up snow from their driveways and cars and depositing it onto his newly plowed streets.

The behavior is so consistent, that he quickly named some of the worst offenders during a subcommittee meeting with Town Council members: The Diamond Hill CVS store that routinely clogs a lane of Bear Hill Road, the residents in Jason's Grant, in Georgianna Villa, and at the corner of Vineyard and Highland avenues.

Even after crews have been plowing for 36 hours, he said, "you come down the road and it doesn't look like it's been plowed at all."

Several years ago, one plow operator who complained to a Sun Valley Drive resident got a shovel thrown at his windshield, he said.

So, it's with relief, Stowik says, that the town is resurrecting an ordinance that prohibits dumping snow on plowed streets and imposes a $25 fine on first offenders.

With salt running $56 a ton, he told councilors, "it gets costly. If we have to re-sand, it gets costly."

The ordinance is coming to the Town Council from the administration and is identical to one suggested in 2011 by then-council member Charles Wilk, a political outsider at the time.

Back then, according to minutes, a series of questions were raised and the ordinance was tabled. When it popped up a few months later, councilors were enjoying the spring weather and killed it by putting off for an indefinite time.

Police Chief John Desmarais asked for several modifications during the workshop meeting last week.

And he cautioned that witnesses will be needed in order to prosecute.

Councilors voted to table the ordinance so the language can be amended, but this time they promised its return to an April meeting.

Comments

the town is lucky to have a foreman like Frank and a crew of hard working people . If you have ever plowed you would know what it is like. While you are home nice and warm in bed they are up for days at a time so when you are ready to leave home you can. No fine give then their snow back.

I can see the point that Mr. Stowic is making about throwing the snow back into the street but there should also be a penalty for business owners and residents who plow snow onto sidewalks.

Residents and especially school children should not be forced to walk in the street because some business / homeowner had their sidewalk or driveway plowed into the sidewalk.

You see it all over town especially near schools.

Also, if we are going to do any enforcement then start on Dexter Street. I know it is a narrow street, but the Cumberland Police Department does no parking enforcement. So much for a nationally accredited police department.

How can we continue to allow bar patrons to park on the sidewalk making in difficult to walk on the public sidewalk? Make the bar people park on Broad Street.

Are we just waiting for another person to be run over for enforcing the rules.