Chester Residents Urged Not to Throw Snow in Streets

CHESTER – It’s been a bad year for plow drivers having to go back out to clean up the snow that homeowners and their plow drivers have thrown back out into the cleaned streets.
Road agent Mike Oleson said that while most residents do a good job with their snow removal, for some reason the last couple storms have seen more residents than usual putting their snow into the public roads.

“It costs thousands of extra dollars,” said Oleson, explaining that the town has to keep the roads clear and safe and when the snow from private property finds its way onto the roads, plow drivers have to go back out to plow, salt and sand.
This could be after 18 or 20 hours of plowing to keep the streets ready for residents to get to and from work and appointments.
Selectman chair Steph Landau raised the issue at the selectmen’s Dec. 19 meeting, urging residents to abide by the town’s rules. According to Landau and Oleson, the town can fine residents for both throwing their snow into the streets or leaving their cars parked on the road during the winter.
Landau and selectman Rich LeBlanc noted an upsurge of private plow drivers leaving snow trails in the streets as they plow across the road.
Selectman Joe Hagan asked people to leave the streets better than they found him, referencing the old Boy Scout slogan.
The road agent takes time to knock on doors and ask people to keep the snow on their properties, and did so during the last storm in the early hours. But he said he can’t be everywhere, and considering that snow being tossed into the road means more taxpayer dollars are being spent on cleanup than need be, it may behoove residents to ask neighbors to refrain from the activity if they see it.
Owners of cars left in the street during snow emergencies usually get a visit from the police. Plow drivers don’t have the time to ask residents to move their cars, so usually that situation results in a call to the Chester police department.
Oleson noted that the police have been very good with helping the highway department in those situations.

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