The next time it snows, think twice before tossing snow from a driveway into the street.
The Spokane City Council on Monday voted 5-1 to outlaw the dumping of snow into public streets or other public property with the exception of planting strips or snow berms created by city plows. Private plow companies caught breaking the law could face a $513 fine. Businesses could be fined $257 and homeowners $52.
Street officials say the law was needed because some plow companies have disregarded requests to stop moving snow into the street.
City Councilman Mike Fagan cast the lone vote against the law. He argued that it is hypocritical for the city to impose fines on people for moving snow into the street when city plows often push snow berms onto private property and sidewalks.
The council nixed a plan to lower the fine for not shoveling sidewalks from $103 to $53. City officials said the proposal to lower the fine was a mistake and requested to maintain the same penalty.
Councilman Mike Allen was absent at Monday's meeting.
PHOTO: Berm busters Derek Zimmerman ( left ) and Ramon Molina clear a Spokane Washington driveway on east 37th Monday January 28, 2007. With a record snowfall the street plowing piled huge berms at driveways and crosswalks. CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON The Spokesman-Review