Snow Removal

REMINDERS Regarding Snow Removal

~ No parking on the streets or 4 feet from the shoulder of the roads from Nov. 1st through April 1st. Your vehicle may be towed and a possible fine of up to $100.
~ Remove ALL objects that are in the Town’s Right-of-Way (ROW) for snow removal. These objects include: sprinkler systems, basketball/hoops, rocks and landscaping. The ROW is about 30 feet from the center of the road. The Town will NOT be responsible for replacing or repairing any objects left within that ROW.
~ Also, it is against the law to plow snow into town roads or across the street onto someone else’s property.
~ If there is a major storm and you have fallen trees/limbs, we will make a trip throughout the town to pick these up – have them out by the curbside as soon as you can!
~ There is a shed with salt/sand mix located toward the back of the Highway Garage parking area. You are welcome to bring a bucket and shovel to take what you need (it is not for commercial use-residents only).

Snow on Garbage Pick-up Days

When plows will be out during garbage pick-up day PLEASE keep the buckets back at least 2’ from the edge of the road. The Waste Removal Trucks can reach at least 3’!

Snow Hazards

Please do NOT let your children build forts or castles in the banks along the roadside. There is a high danger of them being harmed if a plow drives through and cannot see them.

Snow Hints for your driveway

Some hints for plowing your driveway and during a storm:
` If at all possible, leave a strip of snow at the edge of your driveway. This will block some of the snow from entering your driveway when the plow widens the roadway. Finish clearing your driveway entrance AFTER the final widening pass of the Town trucks has been completed.
` Make the opening of your driveway from the road as wide as possible
` Clear about 10' over and at least 1' in from the road on the left side of your driveway so that most of the snow from the plow is deposited before it reaches your driveway.
` Situate your mailboxes further off the road so they are less likely to get hit.
` When plows will be out during trash pick-up day PLEASE place buckets at least 2’ from the edge of the road. The Waste Removal Trucks can reach at least 3’!

Fire Hydrants

It is the responsibility of the home owner to ensure the fire hydrant is clear of snow.

Additional Tips and Information

Clean Streets = Clean Streams
Storm drains provide routes for rain water and snow melt to flow away from our streets and prevent flooding and potential ice conditions. Help us keep our storm drain clean. Do not place brush, leaves or snow on the road pavement as these materials will add pollution to our waters, and block drains and cause flooding and ice conditions. If you do notice a blocked basin, please notify the Highway Department.

Be Prepared, Be Aware and Be Patient

Before it snows, remember last years’ problems and try to tackle them in advance. If you do your own snow removal, have your tools and supplies handy. Shovels, snow blowers, calcium chloride, rock salt and sand should be ready before the season begins. If you hire someone for your snow removal then make those arrangements early. It can be difficult to find someone in the middle of a storm.

Make arrangements to have adequate food supplies on hand. Keep flashlights, a battery powered radio and emergency equipment on hand in case of disruption in the power supply. This way you can avoid going out on the roads during a storm or during the cleanup of a storm.

There is a shed with salt/sand mix located toward the back of the Highway Garage parking area. You are welcome to bring a bucket and shovel to take what you need (residents only).

Area news media will announce approaching storms and will disseminate information on school closings and meeting cancellations. They will also note road closings or re-routings.

Please do not go out during or immediately after a snowstorm unless it is truly necessary. Crews have many hours of hard work to complete their snow clearing operations. Less traffic on the roads means that we will be able to clear the roads more quickly and completely. Under the best of conditions, it will take us at least 4 hours from the time it stops snowing completely, to complete our snow removal operations.

Remember, whether it is your driveway for which you are responsible for or the miles of roads for which we are responsible for, snow removal is an arduous and time consuming task. Please understand that the Highway Department cannot shovel ridges or windrows from your driveway entrance or mailbox, nor can we plow private property.

Before the Snow Falls
Beginning as early as September the Highway Department begins preparing for the winter months ahead by reviewing snow removal routes and servicing equipment. This continues through November while the Highway crew is cutting back dead trees and dangerous limbs from our right-of-ways.

The late fall and early spring are critical times because the same equipment is used for other seasonal jobs and the focus can change at very short notice for snow removal.

The Highway’s salt storage is stockpiled with 750 tons of salt while 3,000 gallons of enviro-brine and 6,000 gallons of liquid salt brine are contained in in storage tanks. In order to be properly prepared for inclement weather during the snow season, daily weather conditions are continually monitored via satellite and daily weather reports are received from NYS.

This salt brine mix is a new method that Malta and some area towns are utilizing to be proactive as it jump starts the melting process. This mixture is applied to the main Town owned roads prior to a storm starting. The brining serves two purposes: it prevents the snow from bonding and compacting to the pavement and it keeps traffic moving safely during the initial phase of the storm.

When the Snowfall Starts

An important step in dealing with the snowfall is street salting. The snow removal starts when frozen precipitation begins falling and continues until the streets are clear. We have 7 plow routes with 2 men in each truck. It takes approximately 4 hours to complete one run. Of course this time per run depends on driving conditions and amount of snow per hour is falling.

When the Snowfall Continues

When two or three inches of snow have accumulated and more is expected, snow is more economically removed by plowing rather than salting. If the storm continues in intensity, the trucks remain in the same pattern until the storm abates. At that time, the trucks begin to “widen out” all roads by pushing the accumulated snow back to the curb line and clearing intersections. The crew works around the clock during these storms to keep the roads open and passable.

After the Storm is Over
We continue to monitor all roads for icy spots and areas where winds redeposit the snow in traffic lanes.

Residents are required to shovel out fire hydrants in front of your property.

The Town will go around and check catch basins

Common Questions with Answers

Questions & Answers
~Why should I not throw snow back into the street?
It is a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law. Snow thrown back onto the roadway may freeze causing hazardous road conditions. You may cause injury to family, friends or neighbors.

~I cannot shovel my driveway because I am elderly or disabled, what should I do?
Make arrangements with family, friend, neighbor or contractor to do this for you.

~Why do the plows put snow in my driveway?
This is not intentional! Snow, like water, will follow the path of least resistance and when there is an opening on the side of the road the accumulated snow on the plow will deposit there.

Snow Storm Helpful Suggestions

Residents can assist the Highway Department during a snow storm by heeding these suggestions:
  1. Reduce your speed and drive cautiously.
  2. Remain off the roadways during snow storms unless absolutely necessary.
  3. Park vehicles in driveways and off the roadway. Vehicles left parked on roadways create a hazard to other drivers and delays highway crew’s efforts to plow the roads. You also run the risk of your vehicle being towed during a storm along with a fine of $100. There is no street parking from November 1st to April 1st.
  4. Move basketball hoops, garbage cans, landscaping, rocks, sprinkler heads, etc. off the road right-of-way. The Town WILL NOT be responsible for replacing or repairing any objects left within the right-of-way and there are no exceptions.
  5. Do not plow, blow or throw snow back into the road or on other peoples’ property (NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law)
  6. Storm events are normally forecast 2 to 3 days in advance so please make every effort to gather whatever supplies you and your family will need. For example, gas, food, water and medicine to last 2 or 3 days.
  7. BE PATIENT…The Highway Department will get to your area and make every effort to plow all roadways as quickly as possible.