Proposed ordinances aim to fix winter vehicle issues

HOUGHTON — With snow inevitably on its way, the Houghton City Council is bringing forward two proposed ordinances to handle some of the issues that come up during the winter, mainly snow removal and overnight parking.

The proposals are meant as a way for the city to make sure the laws are written down among the city’s ordinances and would not have to be left up to interpretation.  The first proposal deals with proper snow removal.

Houghton City Manager Eric Waara said it allows the city to give out tickets to those who remove their snow in a way that would obstruct traffic.

“It’s just an addition to our snow policy which will allow the police officers and the plow drivers to have a little bit more latitude in enforcing what one would think should be good manners and common sense for folks leaving snow on the roads in the city,” he said.

The second proposed ordinance is about overnight parking and determining when cars should be towed.  Waara said the city does not want to put police in a situation where they just tow away any car that is parked overnight.

“This will allow them to either issue a warning or a ticket to folks,” he said.  “Usually it’s warnings in the beginning but then if it’s a persistent problem, tickets would be issued and towing would be a last resort then.”

Language on the proposed ordinances will still be tweaked a bit before they are presented at a public hearing at the next city council meeting.

The Houghton overnight parking ban is from 2-7 a.m. and goes into effect November 1.