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Snow Policies
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Snow Removal Policies and Procedures

The City of Wauseon gives priority to main roads (which can typically be defined as roads with posted speed limits of 35 MPH or greater), intersections, school zones and roads with curves or hills.  The main roads are cleared first followed by secondary roads.  Secondary roads are moderately traveled roads that connect mulitiple subdivisions or residential areas.  Subdivisions and residential streets are maintained after all main and secondary roads have been determined to be safe and passable. 

When experiencing extended snow events, it is necessary for the snow plow operators to repeatedly make passes on the main roads to keep traffic flowing safely.  The number of passes may increase due to drifting snow from high winds and/or dry snow.  Drifting is more common on the main roads in the rural areas of the City, resulting in delays in plowing and salting of neighborhood streets.  Residents are urged to be patient during these types of events as all areas will be addressed as soon as possible.

During any snow event, residents are encouraged to use off street parking.  Crews are able to more efficiently and effectively clear the streets of ice and snow when streets are free of parked vehicles.  During major snow storms, snow emergencies can be put into effect.  The City of Wauseon Snow Emergency Levels are listed below:

Level One

A Level One Snow Emergency is issued in the City of Wauseon ”whenever, during any period of twenty-four hours or less, snow falls upon the streets of the Municipality to a depth of two inches or more, an emergency is hereby declared to exist for reason that it constitutes a serious public hazard and impairs transportation”.  All vehicles are to be removed from the streets to allow for safe snow removal.  Level One Snow Emergencies will remain in effect until the streets have been cleared of snow. 

*** Vehicles parked on streets are subject to a citation from the Wauseon Police Department. 

Level Two

Everything on Level One plus:

Roadways are extremely hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and may be ice covered.  Only under extreme necessity should anyone be traveling the streets.   Contact your employer prior to reporting to work.  Public safety employees and health care workers are to report for work if possible.

Level Three

Everything on Levels One and Two plus:

Public employees, emergency workers and health care personnel are the only individuals allowed on the roadways.  These are considered “essential personnel”.

***The Wauseon Police Department will issue citations to nonessential personnel driving on the City streets during a Level Three Snow Emergency.

Snow plow crews first open the center of secondary and residential streets and then return to push snow to the curb.  Residents are encouraged to wait until snow crews have completed their final round of removal prior to removing snow from driveways and sidewalks that are next to the street.  Most feedback we receive is that snow removal crews push snow back into residential driveways or sidewalks; which is why waiting until after the crews make their final pass will help with some of this frustration.

***Wauseon residents are required by the city code to clear sidewalks within 24 hours.  Failure to comply is a minor misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to a $100. 

After snow removal crews have cleared the street, residents are not to push, plow, blow or shovel snow into the streets.  Snow that is put into the streets is driven on by passing motorists and this can possibly create a dangerous condition.  For example, when the temperatures drop, that snow forms slippery patches that can result in driving hazards.

Please keep in mind that a snow plow driver’s vision is often reduced by blowing snow coming off the blade of the plow.  Do not assume the snowplow operator can see you approaching.  Remember, when following a snow plow, if you cannot see their mirrors, they cannot see you.  For your safety and the safety of our snow plow operators, please give them plenty of room to make wide turns and keep a safe distance of at least 100 feet.  Be advised that snow plows sometimes need to back up to properly clear snow from the street. 

NEVER PASS A SNOW PLOW.  Snow plows must maintain a certain speed for the plows to be effective. 

If you should have any questions with regards to the City of Wauseon Snow Removal Policy, please contact our Public Works Department at 419-335-8376.


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