City report highlights preparations for downtown winter – Newton Daily News

Rather than storing their vehicles on the streets during winter storms, Newton’s Director of Public Works Jody Rhone is asking all business owners and tenants in the downtown snow removal district to park in the parking lots. public nearby.

“We would much rather have these cars in parking lots than on the streets,” he said. “With the big equipment we use, we can’t work close to the cars on the street. We’ll take care of that later in the parking lots. And you can leave your car in the parking lots for 72 hours.

Currently, there are five free parking lots in downtown Newton:

• The land in front of the Best Western Holiday Manor at the northeast corner of the intersection of West Third Street North and North Second Avenue West.

• The lot located directly south of the Newton Public Library along Third Avenue Northwest between Second Street North West and First Street North.

• The land directly behind Kayla’s Dance Company at the southwest corner of the intersection of East Second Street North and North Third Avenue East.

• The land behind Maid-Rite and adjacent to the Viet Thai taste, at the northeast corner of the intersection of West Third Street South and South Second Avenue West.

• The land behind PJ’s Deli, at the northeast corner of the intersection of First Street South and South Second Avenue East.

Rhône recently provided a staff report to city council members, giving residents an update on snow removal operations in the city center.

The downtown district has changed in recent years, Rhône said. More residents live in the downtown area, which is an area of ​​Newton where snow removal operations differ from those in any other part of the city. Rhône prepared for a meeting last week to educate downtown residents, mirroring its staff report of November 15.

Snow removal operations in Newton consist of city workers plowing the streets during and immediately after heavy snowfall. When the snowstorm subsides, Rhône said the city is prioritizing streets that need more attention. The priority of the street is ranked numerically, from one to four, with one being the highest priority.

Of course, the city has its main arteries, or major thoroughfares, which staff will give the greatest attention to during snowstorms. The downtown district is one of them. Rhône noted that snow removal is different from snow transportation; Usually, the night after a storm, city staff will come in and transport the snow.

“At the end of the day, we come and we pull all this snow down the center of the street, and then we haul it and we haul it behind our store on Highway 14,” he said.

From North Fourth Avenue to South Second Avenue and from West Fourth Street to East Fourth Street is considered the downtown snow removal district, with a few exceptions. During snow removal operations – which is officially declared by the city – all parking is prohibited in the downtown snow removal district.

To check the condition of the downtown snow removal district, the city asks residents to call 641-792-0411. The declaration must be made by the city no later than 7 p.m. on the evening of the logging operations. The city will also communicate its statements on its website and through its alert notifications.

Rhône said that the city’s streetscape projects will affect the downtown snow removal district over the years. As the city narrows streets and creates green spaces away from nearby sidewalks, Rhône said the ultimate goal is to create snow storage areas and staff only haul snow away from the square.

“We can plow that up like we would any other residential street and then have a place to pile the snow that isn’t on the sidewalk,” Rhone said. “So as we continue to do these streetscape projects… we will just continue to reduce this amount that we actually need to remove snow from. “

Four more streetscape projects south of First Avenue are planned for next year.

In the past, overnight parking in the neighborhood was prohibited from October 30 to April 1. The city changed its ordinance several years ago.

Thus, now, any business owner or resident who lives in the downtown snow removal district can always park in the streets of this area as long as it is not between midnight and 6 a.m. snow clearing has been declared by the City of Newton.

On-street parking throughout the city, except in the downtown snow removal district, is prohibited when the snow has reached two inches of accumulation. When the two-inch threshold is reached, the city will declare snow removal operations. At that time, the ticket office for vehicles parked on the streets of the city will begin.

“We don’t want to verbalize people,” Rhône said. ” It is not the goal. The goal is to get cars off the streets so that we can clean the snow. “

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or [email protected]

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