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Local News

February 6, 2014

Storm keeps tow trucks, plow crews busy

About 110 cars were towed in the city of Oneonta during the storm that arrived in the area late Tuesday.

A storm from the Mississippi Valley brought about a foot of snow in some areas, according to the National Weather Service in Binghamton. The heaviest snowfall was in the Oneonta area. There is a possibility of a storm this weekend, but there is nothing definite, a meteorologist said.

Oneonta police Lt. Douglas Brenner said after notifying the community through public service announcements, social media and other sources, towing started at about 4 a.m. Wednesday and concluded at about 9 a.m.

“We wanted to started as soon as the snow reached three inches, so the Department of Public Works could a jump on removal” before people started their day, he said, adding that it’s easier to plow before other traffic starts. “We were surprised so many were towed — we thought people understood the ordinance better.”

The ordinance allows the city to declare a snow emergency, requiring that all cars be removed from city streets, any time there is 2½ inches or more of snow. Any cars remaining on the street will be towed at the owner’s expense.

The city has a list of impound yards where such cars are taken, Brenner said. Owners have to come to the police station and pay their fine, before they will be driven to their vehicle.

On Wednesday the penalty for each car was $150, Brenner said, and that will increase $5 each day for storage. It generally takes a couple of days for everyone to claim their cars, he said. Brenner said 62 had been picked up by about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. People can call 432-1111 for information about retrieving their vehicles.

According to a media release from the city fire department, no parking is permitted on city streets until roadways can be cleared. City parking lots are available and regulations there have been suspended through at least 8 a.m today. A travel advisory is in effect, which means no unnecessary travel in the city.

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