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Vernon DPW Sends Out Winter Reminders

The rules about snow removal, etc.

Photo Credit: Chris Dehnel
Photo Credit: Chris Dehnel
The Vernon Department of Pubic Works has issued a few winter tips for residents: 

Snow Removal 

The primary responsibility for keeping Vernon streets open and the transportation network alive during winter storms rests with the Vernon Public Works Department. The state Department of Transportation takes care of the state roads (generally any road with a route number) and can be reached at 860-875-4993. The State DOT is responsible for the following routes in Vernon:                                                                                                                                            • Route 30 - Hyde Avenue, Hartford Turnpike.
• Route 31 - Grove Street, Reservoir Road, Mile Hill Road.
• Route 74 -   Tolland Avenue, East Main Street, Union Street, Windsor Avenue, Windsorville Road.
• Route 83 -   Talcottville Road, West Road (parts of Hartford Turnpike and Windsor Avenue. 
• Route 527 - West Street.
• Route  533 - Tunnel Road, Lake Street (from Tunnel Road to the Bolton town line).
• Route 541 - South Frontage Road.
• Route 542 - Whitney T. Ferguson Road.
 
When winter precipitation starts, the Town of Vernon Public Works Department dispatches trucks throughout the Town to plow, lay salt and sand over 26 separate plow routes.   Within each plow route, certain streets are designated as primary streets to be "opened up" first so that all areas of the Town can be reached by snow removal crews and emergency vehicles.  Secondary streets are then opened.  This means that one or two passes will be made so that the road is open for traffic.  Residents can help by parking vehicles off the street at all times during the winter months.  
 
After all streets are opened, the drivers will begin to “widen out” so that the maximum width of the traveled way will be usable.  Widening out may require four or more additional passes to move the accumulated snow to the gutter line. Cul-de-sac residents are encouraged to be patient with the removal of snow from these areas as large snow removal equipment cannot appropriately clear the entire area and alternate equipment may then be utilized when the storm subsides.  The plow operator has little choice as to where the snow will be deposited; many times the snow will be deposited into driveway openings. 
 
It is suggested that when clearing your driveway you shovel the snow to the right when facing the street, this way what you have shoveled will not be deposited in your driveway by the plow.  The parking ban may be enforced by the Chief of Police if the storm warrants it.  
 
Sidewalks

Sidewalks must be cleared of all ice and snow within eight hours of the end of the storm, or eight hours after sunrise if the storm ended during the night. When plowing or clearing driveways and sidewalks snow may not be deposited onto the roadways.  Plowing contractors and homeowners should take notice that violators may be subject to a fine of up to $50 for each offense.  Our department has free sand available to residents only for sidewalks.  Call the Public Works Office at 860-870-3500 for the locations. 
 
Mailboxes

While plow truck drivers make every effort to avoid mailboxes, they do, on occasion, hit or knock one over.  Operators must report these incidents to their supervisor.  It is also possible that mailboxes can be knocked over by heavy snow without the operator's knowledge.
 
It is the Town's policy to replace a mailbox struck by a Town vehicle if the mailbox was mounted on a sturdy post and located according to U.S. Postal Service standards.  Once it has been determined that the Town is at fault, the mailbox will be replaced with either a plain white or black regulation mailbox and a pressure-treated post (if applicable).  Under some weather conditions a temporary mailbox may be utilized until a permanent post can be installed.  The post office will not deliver mail until the mailbox is replaced.  These standards are summarized as follows:
 
• The box should be 3.5 to 4 feet from ground level to the bottom of the box.
• The face of the box should be flush with the back of the curb or set back 6 to 12 inches from the edge of the road.
• All mailboxes should have a handle, a flag, and the house number on the right hand side as you face it from the street.
• Residents must keep the approach to their mailbox clear of obstructions to allow safe access for delivery.  If USPS employees are impeded in reaching a mail receptacle, the Postmaster may withdraw delivery service.
• Curbside mailboxes must be placed to allow safe and convenient delivery by carriers without leaving their vehicles.

Fire Hydrants

Owners of property and occupants of buildings that have a fire hydrant are required by Town Ordinance to clear a 4-foot area in all directions around the hydrant and a 3-foot wide path from the street to the fire hydrant.  Failure to comply with this ordinance may result in a fine.  The Fire Department counts on hydrants being cleared of snow to help protect your safety. 
 
Catch Basins

Help minimize street flooding by shoveling snow and ice from in front of the catch basin nearest your house.  This includes keeping catch basin grates free of leaves and other debris all year long!
 
Basketball Hoops and Poles

The Town will not be responsible for basketball hoops and poles placed on town property, either at the edge of the road or on a cul-de-sac.   Basketball hoops or poles damaged by town vehicles, especially during removal of refuse, recycling, snow, slush, etc. will not be repaired or replaced.    These items should be placed on private property. 

Refuse and Recycling Collection

• Have your cart(s) at the curb by 6 AM on your scheduled collection day.
• Face the lid opening toward the street - handle toward the house.
• Leave 3 feet between each cart or place cart(s) on either side of driveway.
• During winter months, please keep cart(s) clear of snow, snow banks, parked cars, and other obstructions.

Ash Disposal

Under no circumstances are ashes to be disposed of in the refuse and recycling cart(s).   Wood ash retains enough heat to ignite other combustible materials for several days.  Sparking embers are a fire hazard.  There is a designated container located at the Public Works Garages at 375 Hartford Turnpike.
Ed Putman December 14, 2013 at 02:52 PM
My hat is off to the public works when it comes to snow removal. Their plan for a one pass followed by a cleanup run on the residential streets works well for me. The follow up run is always prompt, too.

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