Snow Removal

Current Storm Updates: Click here

Snow Emergency declared for:  12:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16 through 8:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016

Garbage and Recycling: Remains on schedule.

Special Pickup: Remains on schedule.

Snow Event Plowing Progress Updates (during snow emergencies only):

No current report.

Quick Links: 

HELP MAKE YOUR STREET SAFE

GARBAGE AND RECYCLING COLLECTION DURING A SNOW STORM

HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS 

SIDEWALKS & PRIVATE PROPERTY SNOW REMOVAL

CURB RAMP SHOVELING

 SIDEWALK SHOVELING COMPLAINTS 

ORDINANCES 

OVERNIGHT ON-STREET PARKING RESTRICTIONS 

SNOW EMERGENCY ON-STREET PARKING RESTRICTIONS

WINTER TRANSPORTATION TIPS

MUNICIPAL STREET SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL OPERATIONS

SALTING

SNOW PLOWING

SNOW REMOVAL & SHELVING

MAILBOX DAMAGE

PROPER MAILBOX PLACEMENT 

CURB AND TERRACE DAMAGE

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 


  • HELP MAKE YOUR STREET SAFE 

    • Please make sure mail boxes are installed properly, according to United States Postal Service regulations. 
    • Please do not park vehicles on the street following a snowfall. Working around parked cars in the street does not allow plows to get close to the curb, which results in them coming back again to plow and costing additional tax dollars. Cars parked on the street between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. may be ticketed and towed, from November 1st to April 1st.  Also if the Village declares a snow emergency cars may not be parked on the street (day or night) for the duration of the snow emergency (or until the street has been completely cleared of all snow from curb to curb following the storm event).
    • Please do not park or abandon your car in driving lanes as it will be towed. 
    • Please do not park your vehicle at the end of your driveway in a way that would impede the plows. 
    • Please do not place garbage or recycling containers on snow banks or in the road. This is prohibited and may result in items not being collected or the container tipping over and spilling. Place your containers in your driveway opening to allow collection crews access to your container, and allow the snow plows to stay close to the curbs. 
    • Please do not blow, plow or throw snow onto or across any street or sidewalk. Snow blown, plowed or shoveled onto any street is a hazard to other motorists, is a violation of Ordinance’s and is subject to a citation. 
    • Please keep the catch basin adjacent to your property free from ice and snow to help prevent localized flooding.
    • Please adopt one of the Village’s 1,100 fire hydrants this winter by keeping it clear of snow. You will help to keep your neighborhood safe by providing the Fire Department easy access in case of an emergency.
    • Please do not allow children to play or build snow tunnels on snow banks along the road.

     

GARBAGE AND RECYCLING COLLECTION DURING THE SNOW STORM 

Assume garbage and recycling collection will be collected on your regular day unless informed otherwise. Collection may be delayed or advanced a few hours due to the timing of the snow storm. If the snow event will begin after lunch on your garbage day you may want to put your garbage out the night before the storm as collection staff may begin collections earlier than 6:00 am in an attempt to beat the storm. If the snow storm begins the day before your garbage day consider placing your garbage at the curb at 5:30 or 6:00 am to minimize that chance snow from the plows may knock over your container.

Do not place garbage containers in the street. Containers must be placed, on the driveway apron, at the curb or in a shoveled out space on the grass terrace area at the curb (not on snow bank or in the street). This will allow plows to scrape the street as close as possible to the curb.

HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS 

The Village would like to encourage everyone to be a good neighbor. Think about neighbors and friends who do not have the ability to shovel snow from public sidewalks, their walkways, fire hydrants and driveways. Let neighbors know ahead of time if you are willing to help. Check with these neighbors after a storm to be sure they are okay and ask if they need assistance. 

SIDEWALKS & PRIVATE PROPERTY SNOW REMOVAL

Sidewalks are a critical part of our transportation system. Many people rely on sidewalks to get to school, work and play. Please remember, an un-shoveled sidewalk will trap people using wheel chairs and will slow down emergency responders. 

To provide safe sidewalks for pedestrians, the owner or occupant of the property immediately adjacent to a public sidewalk is responsible for the removal of any snow or ice that accumulates on the sidewalk. Property owners are required to remove snow and ice per the Villages Ordinance on Snow and Ice Removal, which reads: 

Sec. 32-122 - Sidewalks

(a)       The owner or lessee of every lot or parcel land in the Village in front of or abutting upon a sidewalk shall clear such sidewalk of snow within 24 hours after such snow or ice has accumulated thereon.

 

(b)       After 24 hours, the Village will remove the snow and/or salt the walks at a cost to the abutting property owner of $50.00 per hour with a minimum bill of one-half hour or $25.00. In the event snow or ice shall become frozen it cannot practically be removed, the owner or lessee shall sprinkle the sidewalk with sand, salt, sawdust or other suitable material, and shall clean such sidewalk as soon as weather permits.

 

If sidewalks are not cleared the Village will remove snow and or salt ice accumulations. The Village will perform sidewalk clearing services and will take "before" and "after" pictures of the site. The cost of clearing the sidewalk is currently $50 per hour with a minimum of ½ hour billed to the property owner. The property owner will not necessarily receive a courtesy notice that they are in violation of the Villages Ordinance.

 

Sec. 32-123. - Deposit on sidewalks, streets, near intersections, etc., prohibited.

No person removing snow or ice from any portion of any building, private property, driveway, driveway approach or public sidewalk shall sweep, shovel, scrape, drag, blow or in any other manner move such snow or ice being so removed in such a manner as to leave or deposit such snow or ice upon any sidewalk, alley, parkway, street or public place in the village or upon any parcel of private property, other than that parcel from which the snow or ice was removed, without the consent of the owner of the property onto which such snow or ice is to be left or deposited. Snow shall not be piled at or near intersections so as to obstruct the view of pedestrians or operators of motor vehicles.

Sec. 32-124. - Nuisance.

The deposit of any snow or ice upon any sidewalk, alley or street of the village contrary to the provisions of this division shall be and is declared to be a nuisance and, in addition to the penalty provided for violation of this division, the village may summarily remove any snow so deposited and cause the cost of said removal to be charged to the owner of the property from which said snow or ice has been removed. If not paid within 30 days, such charge shall be extended upon the current or next tax roll as a delinquent property tax, as provided in Wis. Stats. § 66.0703.

The Village does not plow private property and does not remove snow piles from driveways as a result of our snow plowing operations. In fact Village staff is prohibited from removing snow from private driveways so please do not ask plow drivers. If you have unusually excessive amount of snow due to our operations please call the Public Works Facility at 920-434-4060 to discuss the situation. Office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Snow removal from driveways and sidewalks is the sole responsibility of the property owner. A link to local snow removal businesses is located at the side of this page under Related Documents.

CURB RAMP SHOVELING 

Property owners on corner lots must also remove snow and ice from curb ramps. These ramps are considered an extension of the sidewalk system.

SIDEWALK SHOVELING COMPLAINTS 

Complaints regarding un-shoveled sidewalks should be directed to the Public Works Facility at 920-434-4060. Office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Once a complaint is received, the Village will investigate the complaint. If the property is in violation of the Snow and Ice Removal Ordinances, the Village will take the appropriate action.

OVERNIGHT ON-STREET PARKING RESTRICTIONS 

The Village has a general prohibition against on-street vehicle parking between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 am from November 1st to April 1st. This prohibition allows the department to plow snow in the winter. Overnight parking permission may be obtained on a case by case basis from the Police Department at 920-434-4640 during normal business hours when snow is not in the forecast, nor during snow emergencies.

SNOW EMERGENCY ON-STREET PARKING RESTRICTIONS 

A Snow Emergency may be declared when conditions warrant that effective and complete plowing can only be accomplished when vehicles are not on the street and in the way. The declaration of a Snow Emergency is actually a trigger that initiates a predefined set of parking regulations that allow for the complete plowing of streets that includes: 

  • No Parking on any Village street at anytime for the duration of the emergency.
  • No Special Parking Permission granted by the Police Department. 
  • Vehicles found in violation are ticketed and removed. 

WINTER TRANSPORTATION TIPS

Snow plow operations may not commence until after you need to travel, especially if you need to travel during or immediately following a snow storm, so be sure to plan ahead and leave early. Remember to always bring a shovel, blankets and proper winter clothing with you when traveling.

Snowplows can generate flying debris as well as cause soft snow to swirl. This makes it difficult for you to see the plow and for the plow driver to see you. Because snow equipment may need to slow down, stop or back up, please stay back at least 200 feet and give snowplows and equipment room to work. 

MUNICIPAL STREET SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL OPERATIONS

The Village of Howard endeavors to provide businesses and residents with reasonable snow and ice control for routine travel and emergency services in a safe and cost effective manner. During winter weather events we constantly evaluate the manpower, equipment requirements and the weather situation to insure that we are providing the best service for our customers. Winter weather presents challenges for which we assume all drivers are prepared. Traction is frequently reduced, visibility is limited, traffic moves at slower speeds and drivers need to be prepared for the unexpected. We expect that all drivers have prepared themselves and their vehicles with appropriate winter weather driving equipment and have allowed themselves extra time to reach their destination.

 The Department of Public Works considers all winter precipitation events to be a form of winter weather emergency. Whether it's a freezing drizzle or a snowstorm that drops 14 inches of snow, appropriate crews are dispatched in response to the conditions. The response may range from a few salt trucks to cover freezing bridge decks, to a full storm mobilization of up to 10 plow units including trucks, graders and loaders. Appropriate snow and ice control operations are performed, regardless of whether or not the severity of the event warrants the declaration of a Snow Emergency. It must be recognized that each storm has its own character with variable and changing conditions such as wind, extreme temperatures, timing, duration, and moisture content.  The policy must remain flexible and take into consideration those variables in addition to staffing, and equipment variables.

The Village of Howard strives to maintain adequate traction for vehicles properly equipped for winter driving conditions. This does not mean bare, dry pavement should be expected after each snow fall. Furthermore, this does not mean that streets and sidewalks will be free of ice and snow, in fact you should expect that streets in general, especially residential streets, will often be snow covered and slippery. Often times snow may be compacted and ice may remain on streets for sometime after the storm event. Residents should exercise extra caution while driving on residential streets. The following is a summary of the Village’s Snow and Ice Control Program. Strategies and implementation of snow and ice removal may change as often as every three hours based upon changing weather forecasts and actual road conditions.

THE BASICS

Snow and ice control is performed on the following: 

  • 106 Miles of streets (approximately 325 lane miles) 
  • 59 Miles of sidewalks
  • 125 Cul-de-sacs

To put 106 miles of streets into perspective, consider that each narrow street must be plowed at least once in each direction (or two passes) to clear the roadway. Most Village streets must be plowed at least twice in each direction (or four passes). Busy high traffic volume roads will be plowed multiple times meaning 8 or more passes. Thus, there are some 400 or more "lane miles" in Howard, which when set end to end, would stretch from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Indianapolis, Indiana!

SNOW PLOWING

Snowplowing will commence when, when, in the opinion of the Public Works Department, sufficient snow or ice exists to be a hazard to traffic. Several factors are considered when deciding when to plow, such as the amount and density of snow, wind speeds, drifting, temperature, duration of the storm, time the storm starts and ends, the amount of time our drivers have been plowing and peak traffic times. These factors all influence how long the snow plow operation will take to complete.

Typically Village-wide plowing operations will commence at or near the end of 2” and greater storm event. Residential streets are not typically plowed for snow events totaling less than 2”. In addition residential streets are not normally salted.  These policies are intended to minimize the expenditure of your tax dollars and reduce environmental impacts. Attention is given to Village streets according to the designated priorities as follows: 

Priority 1 - Primary Streets (Arterials and Collectors), Bridges and Hills 
Priority 2 - Low Volume Residential Streets (Locals) and sidewalks
Priority 3 - Dead ends and Cul-de-sacs
Priority 4 – Parking lots and Parks

A link to Howard’s priority route map is located at the side of this page under Related Documents. When larger heavy snowstorms are occurring during peak travel times, primary streets will be continuously plowed throughout the storm. Residential streets typically are not be plowed until the storm ends. Where steep hills or other safety concerns exist, a street may be advanced to a higher priority for plowing. For operating efficiency, some lower priority streets may be done when equipment is in the area rather than doubling back at a later time.

It is the Village’s policy goal to complete snow plowing operations for routine snow events of 5” or less in under 12 hours, after snowfall has ended. Infrequent larger snow events, 6” and greater that occur 2 to 3 times per year, will extend the time to complete snow plowing operations, generally 12 to 16 hours after snowfall has ended. Significant snow events totaling 12” to 18” will typically take 16 to 22 hours complete. Very rare snow events will take even longer so plan to hunker down. Again this is after all snowfall has ended. Obviously it is the Village’s desire to have streets plowed as soon as possible so that you can get back to your routine activities. Two major factors that are beyond the Village’s control are; 1) the overall length of the storm event and 2) the time of the day when the storm actually ends. These two facts dictate when Village wide plowing operations will begin and to a great extent determine when plowing operations will be completed, thus your wait time, and satisfaction with the plowing operation. So please try to be patient, know that the Village wants to and is trying to complete plowing as quickly as possible for you, our customer.

Plows typically make two to four passes down a street to clear it curb to curb. The reason for plowing the snow back to the curb is to maintain the road width, expose catch basins, and keep roads safe for motorists and pedestrians where no sidewalks exist. It is best to wait to shovel out your driveway approach, if possible, after we’ve finished plowing at least twice on each side of the street. This will minimize the amount of wet heavy compacted snow finding the first open, convenient place to go, your driveway…..

Parked and abandoned vehicles present obstacles to plows attempting to get as close to the curb as possible. We regularly need to plow streets again the day after a snow event to plow where vehicles had previously been parked, to plow corners back to the curb, to expose catch basins and scrape accumulated ice and snow pack. This may result in snow being deposited in your driveway apron after you have already shoveled.

Cul-de-sacs may be partially plowed during larger snow events leaving the center of the cul-de-sac to be plowed at the end of initial snow removal operations or for the next day.

SALTING 

Salting will commence, when, in the opinion of the Public Works Department, an unsafe condition for travel exists. Salting operations can vary greatly, depending on whether there is a need for Village wide coverage or if the slippery areas are isolated.

When icy conditions occur in the Village, hazardous situations will present themselves in numerous locations at the same time. It must be realized that salting crews cannot be in all places at all times, and the affect of salting is not immediate. 

Clearing Wisconsin’s winter roads usually requires de-icing chemicals. In Wisconsin, the most common chemical, salt (sodium chloride), usually comes from mined rock salt that has been crushed, screened and treated with an anti-caking agent. De-icing salt is relatively light - just over one ton per cubic yard and comes as a mixture of 3/8” granules to fine crystals. 

Road salt works by lowering the freezing point of water. Even when the pavement temperature is below freezing, it holds some heat which can help melt snow and ice. A 23.3% concentration of salt water will not freeze until the temperature is below 0 F. As temperatures drop, the amount of salt needed to melt a given quantity of ice increases significantly. Salt can melt five times as much ice at 30 F. as it can at 20 F. Melting rates are significantly reduced at temperatures below 20 F; becomes an expensive tactic in addition to the associated negative environmental impacts. Salt will be used on primary streets, higher volume intersections where start/stop movements are frequent, on bridges, and on steep hills or curves where slippery conditions make driving hazardous.  The use of salt shall be minimized during extremely cold temperatures. Other factors that strongly influence the melting rate of ice include chemical concentration, application rate, air temperature, pavement temperature, pavement surface, traffic volume and time of application.

Anti-icing is a road maintenance strategy that is performed to keep the bond between ice and the pavement surface from forming. It involves applying ice control chemicals, typically with a liquid spray, before or at the very beginning of a storm (this may be seen as stripes on the pavement). Using this strategy, especially on hills and bridges, reduces total chemical use and allows a higher level of service to the traveling public. Again many factors influence the application of anti-icing chemical including weather forecasts for snow, ice and rain, the anticipated amount of snow and ice, wind, pavement moisture, pavement and air temperature, humidity, existing salt residual and the planned timing of subsequent plowing operations.

SNOW REMOVAL & SHELVING

Snow removal and or pushing snow beyond the curb (called shelving), may be necessary after heavy storms or after a series of storms in areas where there is limited or no snow storage area. Snow removal does not occur every time plowing operations occur and will vary depending on the timing of the storm, the amount of precipitation received, and the forecast. The equipment used to remove snow from streets includes graders, end loaders, large snow blowers and dump trucks.

Public Works crews will remove snow first from areas where it causes the most disruption to traffic and parking. This will generally include arterial streets with little or no terrace area. The next priority will be collector streets. Generally snow removal and shelving is minimized as it is expensive to accomplish. As time permits additional streets may be selected for widening to the face of the curb. This may be necessary due to traffic congestion, parking, school activities or other traffic concerns. 

MAILBOX DAMAGE

If a properly installed mailbox is damaged by a snowplow, the property owner should call the Public Works Facility at 920-434-4060. Upon verification of the claim, either the Village will replace a damaged post and mailbox with a standard 4x4 post and mailbox. Property owners having a decorative or Rubbermaid type of mailbox may elect to be reimbursed $ 50.00 rather than receive a standard mailbox replacement and is sent via the mail. 

The Department of Public Works will not make this payment for mailboxes which are damaged due to the force of the snow or for rotted posts etc. Only in the event that the mailbox is properly installed and our equipment actually strikes a mailbox causing damage, will payment be made. 

PROPER MAILBOX PLACEMENT 

Proper mailbox placement is important for Village crews as well as Post Office mail carriers. Snowplows, street sweepers, and garbage trucks can damage mailboxes that extend over the road. Please check your mailbox to make sure that it is in compliance with Post Office guidelines.

Mailboxes should be installed at a height of 42-48 inches from the road surface to the bottom of the mailbox or point of mail entry, and set back 8 inches from the front face of the curb or road edge to the mailbox door. Where there is no curb, the height of the mailbox should be 48” from the top of the ground to the bottom of the mailbox. A link to proper mailbox design and installation is located at the side of this page under Related Documents.

The Village will not be responsible for any mailbox damaged in the course of Snow Plowing operations that does not meet the above requirements.

CURB AND TERRACE DAMAGE

Each winter, our plows unavoidably cause some damage to curbs and terrace areas through our snow plowing efforts. Each spring, the Public Works Department repairs curb sections and top soils and seeds damaged terrace areas at no charge to residents. Calls regarding curb or terrace damage should be directed to the Public Works Facility at 920-434-4060. Many residents place decorative curbing, landscaping, dog fences and sprinkler systems in the right of way (Village owned terrace area) without a permit and they occasionally get damaged. The Village appreciates the fact that our residents take pride in making their yards look great; and by extension make the Village look like an attractive place to live as a result. Even though the Village would like to reimburse for these types of unintentional damages; we cannot by uniform policy in fairness to all residents.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A street near mine was just plowed. Does that mean mine will be next?
Plow routes in the Village of Howard are designed taking into consideration arterial and collector streets, streets around schools, hospitals, bus routes, hills and bridges. Residential streets are then plowed by breaking the route into sections. Because of this the street next to you may have been plowed but does not necessarily mean your street will be plowed next. 

Can the snow be plowed to the median/boulevard of the street? 

Medians and boulevards typically do not get plowed to the middle because the snow banks create vision issues at intersections. Medians and boulevards are also designed to drain water from the middle of the road to the curb. Plowing snow to the center median results in melting snow to run across the road; this can refreeze and create icy roadway conditions. 

Why did the snowplow bury my sidewalk? or Why do the plows drive so fast that they throw snow all over my sidewalk?

The Village of Howard does not intentionally bury sidewalks. The plows need to drive at a certain rate of speed to get the snow up and on top of the snow bank. As a result, some snow may roll up and over the snow bank and fall onto your sidewalk. If they plow to slowly, the snow sloughs off the banks back into the road, narrowing the streets as winter progresses. If they plow to fast, the snow may go over the bank and sometimes onto the sidewalk. Sometimes the area between the curb and sidewalk is quite narrow offering little storage area for the snow and compounds the problem. To some extent snow will always and unavoidably be defected onto sidewalks and some will fall back into the street.

Can you plow my street first in case I have a medical emergency and an ambulance needs to get through? 

The Village of Howard Public Works and Police Department work closely during snow events. If there is an emergency, medical or otherwise, we work together to assure access for all emergency vehicles.

Will I get a bill or a citation if I don’t remove the snow & ice from my sidewalk? What if the snow was from the Village plow? 

You have 24 hours from the end of a snow event to clear your sidewalk, regardless if the snow was deposited from a plow. If you do not remove the snow and ice from your sidewalk within 24 hours the Village will remove it at your expense.

Why do I get more snow on my corner lot than others do in the middle of the block?

All of the snow builds/accumulates on the front plow as it starts to turn the corner. All of this extra snow "releases" from the plow as it slowly turns the corner, typically leaving a large pile at the point of the turn and extending 100 or more feet down the block to the first driveway. Also, there is more road surface area in an intersection than in a typical mid block road area which further increases the amount of snow coming off the plow at that point.

What can I do about snow plows that block my driveway or mailbox with snow? 

This is an unfortunate side effect of plowing all streets in the Village. All snow must be plowed to the curb and as a result driveways get blocked with the wet, heavy snow from the plow. It is the property owner’s responsibility to clear the snow from the bottom of the driveway and around the mailbox. 

Contact Us

Questions, complaints or compliments regarding snow and ice removal operations and unshoveled sidewalks should be directed to the Public Works Building at 920-434-4060. Office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.