Who's Responsible For Plowing City Streets? Vague Language At The Heart Of Proposed Legislation

Mar 13, 2017

Vague language in a bill making its way through the statehouse has at least one lawmaker concerned snow removal duties could be shirked by the Ada County Highway District
Credit Michael Kappel / Flickr Creative Commons

Questions linger about a bill that passed the Idaho House Transportation Committee Friday looking to designate who's responsible for snow removal.

Under current law, highway districts are required to maintain city streets, curbs and gutters. In 2013, snow removal was added to the list of responsibilities. The proposed legislation would do away with the 2013 snow-removal addition.

KTVB reports the bill is sponsored by the Idaho Association of Highway Districts and supported by the Ada County Highway District. ACHD maintains the bill only focuses on clearing sidewalks of snow.

Representative John Gannon of Boise argues language in the bill is vague and could be interpreted as letting ACHD off the hook for snow removal from roads.

Gannon says the City of Boise and ACHD need to meet to establish snow-removal guidelines. Meridian is in a similar situation according to Gannon.

The bill has been amended to say highway districts may still be responsible for snow removal from streets. Another change puts the responsibility of clearing sidewalks and alleyways squarely on cities.

The measure is on its way to the full House for a vote.

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