When It Snows, Cars May Just Have To Go

Proposal would make room for snowplows

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People parking on Gila County streets might have a problem the next time it snows.

The Gila County Board of Supervisors will meet Tuesday, Jan. 12 to discuss the adoption of an ordinance that allows the Gila County Sheriff's Department to issue tickets and tow cars that are parked on county-maintained streets and are in the way of snowplows.

"It's really a public safety issue," said County Administrator Steve Besich. "People are snowed in and we can't get in to help them. The ordinance gives enforcement authority to the law enforcement (personnel)."

According to the proposed ordinance, each year between Nov. 1 and April 1 no motor vehicle shall stop, park or be left on the paved or main traveled part of county-maintained streets when it snows. The violation would carry a fine of $50 and owners of the vehicles will be responsible for towing charges. Areas affected will have signs posted.

The ordinance is only effective when there is enough snow on the ground to require a snow plow. If there's no snow, then the machines aren't coming by, then there's no problem, said Deputy County Attorney Mark Gunning.

Gunning, who wrote the proposed ordinance, said the ordinance would go into effect immediately upon being approved by the supervisors.

Besich said the ordinance is patterned after a similar Coconino County ordinance.

"Basically when people found that they could be ticketed, they started taking their cars out of the right of way," Besich said. "In the past, during storm conditions, people have not been willing to move their cars off the public right of way."

The Gila County Board of Supervisors meets, Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Gila County Courthouse in Globe. The public is encouraged to attend.

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