Snow is being illegally dumped on the streets and sidewalks of Syracuse, New York. Last winter, Mayor Ben Walsh's administration began actively enforcing a snow plow driver’s license law that’s been on the books since the 1970s in hopes of stopping the practice, as reported in a story by Tom Magnarelli on WRVO’s website.
However, in a move that is of interest to snow plow operators in other cities around the U.S., the Syracuse Common Council will soon vote on a proposal to eliminate that licensing requirement.
In a recent meeting, Corey Driscoll Dunham, the city’s director of operations, said the license is an enforcement tool for curbing illegal dumping. She showed photos of snow piles pushed onto the streets and sidewalks after a recent snow storm.
“If someone just continuously, over and over again, keeps violating city ordinances, obviously we can ticket them for that," Dunham is quoted as saying in the story. "But as an additional enforcement tool, we can take their license away to say, ‘you are not permitted to be conducting business in the city of Syracuse, you don’t have a license anymore because we revoked it because you can’t follow the rules.’”
Councilor Susan Boyle, however, is in favor of ending the licensing. She says it’s causing snow plow operators to either raise their prices or stop plowing in the city altogether.
“We do not use this license in any way to help us to identify people who are illegally dumping snow," Boyle is reported as saying. "It does not provide any additional protections to the people of the city of Syracuse. It is literally nothing more than a list at this point. I don’t think it’s fair to business owners.”
The license costs $250 for a truck, and $50 for each additional vehicle.
Councilor-at-Large Michael Greene said he is leaning towards getting rid of the license.
"I do have concerns about businesses being charged when it's not clear that we can provide them a benefit in exchange for that, or that we have a clear understanding of what we're doing with that information," Greene says in the story.
Other councilors are reportedly split on the decision, but Boyle may have enough votes to eliminate the license.