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Wednesday, February 2,2011

Snow report

No parking on residential streets for 48 hours. City officials say response to overnight snowstorm is going smoothly; costs to city undetermined

by Andy Balaskovitz
Wednesday, Feb. 2 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero issued an executive order today prohibiting parking on residential streets until Friday so city plow trucks can more easily clear secondary streets. Violators may be towed.

“We are not aiming to tow people. We have to get the streets plowed,” Bernero said at a news conference today at the Office of Emergency Management.

He added that residents should keep vehicles in driveways or utilize free parking downtown. The North Grand and South Capitol ramps will offer free parking overnight from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Bernero also said the city’s new sidewalk ordinance requiring residents to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours after a snow event will not be enforced until Friday.

The mayor did not yet have an estimate of what the storm will cost the city, especially in overtime costs.

“These things are expensive,” Bernero said. “There will be a cost.”

Officials from the Fire and Police departments, the Office of Emergency Management, Lansing Board of Water and Light and the Public Service Department joined Bernero this morning at 815 Marshall St. to give updates on the city’s response to the storm that brought nearly one foot of snow overnight.

Major roads have been plowed and a second pass is underway. Secondary, local streets are expected to be completed by Friday.

Police Chief Teresa Szymanski said her department responded to six car accidents and eight vehicle assistant calls since the storm hit Tuesday evening.

Fire Chief Tom Cochran said that, from the Fire Department’s perspective, it is important for residents to clear snow around fire hydrants if they live near one.

Lynn Munroe, a representative for the Lansing Board of Water and Light, said the storm caused one power outage in Delta Township that left 20 residents without power.

The city treasurer’s office and the Planning and Neighborhood Development Department are closed today and are scheduled to reopen Thursday. The 54A District Court, assessor’s office and the offices of Building Safety, Code Compliance and Parking are open today. All parks and recreation facilities are also open, including the Letts, Southside, Gier and Foster community centers, and snow clearing on the River Trail is underway.

Overall, the officials commended the Public Service Department on keeping streets plowed.

“Kudos to the Public Service Department — they are the heroes of the hour,” Bernero said.

“I don’t want to say (the city’s response) was unprecedented, but it was excellent,” said Chad Gamble, director of the Public Service Department.

Those looking for any more city updates can visit www.lansingmi.gov/emergency, which includes the Public Service Department’s plow routes, or call 483-INFO.


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