Council approves new ordinances

Cars backed up on Waterbury Road in Prospect last week block the intersection of Chandler Drive. Under a new ordinance, blocking the intersection could result in a fine. –LUKE MARSHALL

Cars backed up on Waterbury Road in Prospect last week block the intersection of Chandler Drive. Under a new ordinance, blocking the intersection could result in a fine. –LUKE MARSHALL

PROSPECT — Residents who shovel snow into the street and don’t clean it up or block a certain intersection will soon be subject to fines under two newly-approved ordinances.

The Town Council approved a Snow Disposal and Property Damage Ordinance, and a Prohibition on Blocking Intersections Ordinance during its meeting Dec. 15.

The ordinance regarding snow removal came about because snow was being moved from driveways into the streets and not being cleaned up, according to officials.

Mayor Robert Chatfield said if the snow is left in the street it freezes and creates patches of ice or ridges in the road that can damage plow trucks or cause an accident.

“The biggest problem is [town plow trucks] go around and clean up, go back in a couple hours and the snowplow jockeys have pushed the ridges out in the road. We’ve gone home and they’re there and it could cause an accident,” Chatfield said.

According to the ordinance, a police officer will issue a written notice of a violation. If the snow is not cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time, a fine will be issued.

Under the ordinance, the town can fine a property owner up to $100 per violation, and each day the hazard continues constitutes a separate violation.

“This is real good. We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Public Works Assistant Director Gene McCarthy said about the ordinance.

The ordinance also deals with property damage caused by the town plowing the roads. According to the ordinance, if damage occurs within the town’s right of way, which typically extends 10 to 15 feet beyond the pavement, the town is not liable for any damage.

Town Council member Jeff Slapikas, who is a member of the council’s Ordinance Subcommittee, said this includes items such as fences, sprinkler systems, bushes and underground wires for invisible dog fences.

Slapikas said if a curb is damaged during snow removal the town will repair it. However, it will not be fixed immediately.

“If the curb gets damaged, the town takes care of that stuff, but they are not going to run out there in February or March and fix the curb,” Slapikas said.

The ordinance will go into effect by the end of January.

The ordinance regarding blocking intersections currently applies only to the intersection of Waterbury Road and Chandler Drive. However, the town can add other intersections in the future.

Slapikas said this ordinance was created because of the new CVS that is planned to be built at 26 Waterbury Road.

During the approval process for the new CVS, officials expressed concerns about increased traffic on Waterbury Road due to the development. The ordinance is designed to prevent traffic congestion at the intersection of Waterbury Road and Chandler Drive.

According to the ordinance, the town will place traffic signs along the road telling motorists not to block the intersection and paint diagonal boundary lines on the road to mark the intersection.

Once this ordinance is in effect, motorists blocking the intersection can be issued a ticket.

This ordinance will go into effect by the end of January. It will be enforced once the town has installed the traffic signs.