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Sioux City Council passes first reading of snow emergency ordinance

Sioux City Council passes first reading of snow emergency ordinance

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Snowbound car

A snowbound car is shown Monday parked along Court Street in Sioux City. The Sioux City Council moved forward an ordinance Monday that would prohibit parking on posted snow emergency routes any time there is two or more inches of snow accumulation.

SIOUX CITY -- The Sioux City Council moved forward an ordinance Monday that would prohibit parking on posted snow emergency routes any time there is two or more inches of snow accumulation, even if a snow emergency has not been declared. 

The council voted 4 to 1 in favor of the ordinance on first reading, with Mayor Bob Scott casting the lone "no" vote. Three readings are required before any ordinance can pass.

The ordinance places the public on notice about parking until an announcement is made via press release and/or on the city's website.

Before the vote, Councilman Pete Groetken asked who determines if there's two inches of snow or more, if the mayor doesn't declare a snow emergency.

City Attorney Nicole DuBois told him that would be based on measurements taken at Sioux Gateway Airport.

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"I'd just think there would be a little confusion," Groetken said. "I think it's the right thing to do, I really do." 

The day before snow is projected to fall, City Manager Bob Padmore said city staff will post notations on the city's social media channels and also send an alert via CodeRED, an emergency alert platform.

"We'll let people know that we're anticipating two inches of snow, so please do not park on emergency snow routes," he said.

Scott said he would oppose the ordinance because the city doesn't enforce its current ordinance. 

"There's been a trailer buried in the snow with two lawnmowers. It's been there since two snows ago. You guys don't enforce what you have. Why should I vote for any more of this stuff?" he said. "You go up Jackson Street, cars sit for three and four days. The snowplows plow around them, and we don't know how to put a tag on the windows of those cars." 

Emergency snow routes are marked by blue and white signs with a snowflake.

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