Town of Washburn

Town of Washburn

Snowplow Policy for Private Driveways

(Revised August 2020)

 

While many towns have phased out of snowplowing driveways, the Town of Washburn continues to offer this service. The purpose of this document is to set forth the Town’s snowplow policy and inform citizens of the important factors and associated conditions involved in providing this service.

Residents should be aware that the main roads for which the Town is responsible will be plowed before any driveway plowing begins (with the exception of ambulance and/or fire emergencies).  If you are not able or willing to wait, then please consider making arrangements for alternate services.  If there is an ambulance and/or fire emergency, contact the Sheriff’s Department at 373-6120 or 911 and they can get the response in motion. 

In accordance with Wisconsin Statutes, no commercial driveways or parking lots may be plowed by the Town. 

Driveways to be plowed by the Town must meet the requirements described in the Town’s Driveway Ordinance (available on the Town website).  These requirements include:

  • Minimum road surface width          12 feet
  • Minimum width clearance between trees          24 feet
  • Minimum height clearance free of trees, limbs, wires, etc. 14 feet
  • Maximum grade 10%
  • The driveway corridor must be cleared of obstacles.
  • There must be room for large equipment to turn around.
  • Improvements or structures that need protection such as well heads, septic systems and mail boxes must be flagged and clearly visible to the equipment operators.

Driveways not meeting these requirements will not be plowed.  Any damage to Town or emergency vehicles due to non-compliance will be billed to the resident/landowner. 

The Town is not able to subsidize the costs of plowing driveways with public funds.  After an analysis of costs, the Town Board determined the current rate will be $45 for up to 10 minutes of work.  If additional time is required, the rate will be the same $45 in 10-minute increments.  For example, if your driveway takes 1-10 minutes to plow, the rate will be $45.  If it takes 11-20 minutes, the total charge will be $90.

Snowplow requests are due by October 31st.  A $25 late fee must accompany a request submitted after this date - except for residents moving in after that time. 

Renters must submit a deposit of $200 with the request form.  The deposit will be held as an advance payment for the current season.  If the final bill for services is less than the deposit, a refund will be issued at the end of the plowing season.

Each yearly bill must be paid in full within the prescribed time assigned or it will be considered delinquent.  Delinquent snowplow accounts will be assessed a 5% late fee after 60 days of initial billing.  In accordance with Wisconsin Statutes, all delinquent bills, whether the responsibility of the landowner or a renter, become a lien against the property and will be added to the tax statement as a special assessment resulting in the denial of all future snowplowing service. 

Described below are the snowplowing options provided by the Town:

  • Driveway Snowplowing: Plowing will generally be done when there is an accumulation of 5 inches or more of snow - left to the discretion of the crew members. Please remember the Town’s primary responsibility is to maintain town roads thus, depending on the snowfall amount, there may be a delay of one or more days before driveways will be plowed.
  • Plow on Request: Residents who elect to handle snow removal themselves or through private contractors but who find that they need assistance after an unusually heavy snowfall or with a buildup of snow, may choose this service. Upon request, the Town will “wing back” snowbanks at the same rates described above.  This service is contingent upon the driveway meeting the same criteria described above.  When requesting this service, leave a telephone message at the Town Garage at 373-2567. 

If either of the above services is desired, please fill out the Snowplow Request form. This policy and the request form are posted on the Town website https://townofwashburn.com/).

 

The Washburn Town Board