445 Town Hall Rd NW
Bemidji, MN  56601

Phone: 218-751-4989
Fax: 218-444-5374


(revised 11/12/96)


      A.  Purpose

The Township of Northern believes that it is in the best interests of the residents of the township to assume basic responsibility for control of snow and ice on town streets.  Reasonable ice and snow control is necessary for routine travel and emergency services.  The Town will provide such control in a safe and cost effective manner, keeping in mind    safety, budget, personnel, and environmental concerns.  The town will use town employees, equipment, and/or private and public contractors to provide this service.

      B.  Goal

The goal of the township is to have all roads passable within a reasonable amount of time after a snowfall has stopped.  The Township does not assure a completely bare road and will not sand entire sections of roadway.  Users of the township road system are reminded to exercise caution and drive with care.  The legal speed limit may not be possible at all times.

      C. Plowing Restrictions

Township residents are reminded that it is unlawful to plow snow from driveways onto or across public roads.  Piles of snow left on or near a road can freeze into a solid mass creating a hazardous situation for vehicles and snowplows.  Accidents and/or damages       caused by snow piles placed in the roadway may result in liability to the property owner.

      D.  Parking

Township residents are reminded to remove parked vehicles from township roads to assist in snow removal.  The township or contracted equipment will not attempt to remove stuck vehicles from ditches, snowbanks or any other impediment.  Vehicles left in the roadway in such a manner so as to cause accidents may result in liability to the owner.

      E.  Snow Emergency

Whenever in the discretion of the Northern Township Road Supervisor, or his designated representative, existing or forecasted weather conditions require that snowplowing be      carried out on the "Snow Emergency Route", he shall declare a snow emergency and shall put into effect the procedure for notice, removal and impoundment;

            1.  Notice.  "Snow Emergency Route" signs will be placed in the affected area.

            2.  Removal.  Any vehicle left parked or standing in violation of this section may be deemed a hazard and towed at the owners expense.

            3.  Impoundment.  Said vehicle may be removed to and stored in the designated impounding facility. Said vehicle may not be released to the owner or operator until all costs of removing, towing and storage of the vehicle shall first be paid to the impound facility.

Snow Removal Policy

      F.  Emergencies

The Township will, when directed by the Town Road Supervisor, the Town Board Chairman or when requested by the sheriff's department, make an emergency plowing effort through private property in a life threatening situation.  No other plowing of private property will be allowed.

      G. Time Factors

Snow and ice control operations will be conducted only when weather conditions do not endanger the safety of township and/or contracted employees and equipment. Factors that may delay snow and ice control operations include:  severe cold, significant winds and limited visibility.


      A.  Dispatching Snowplows

The Town Road Supervisor will decide when to begin snow and ice control operations. The criteria for that decision are:

            1.  Snow accumulation of three inches or more.

            2.  Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel.

            3.  Icy conditions which seriously affect travel.

            4.  Time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use of roads.

Snow and ice control operations are expensive and involve the use of limited personnel and equipment.  Consequently, snow plowing operations will not generally be conducted for snowfall of less than three (3) inches.  During extended periods of snowfall, exceptions may be made. The snowplows will not be sent out in situations that may be hazardous due to restricted visibility.  Snow will be plowed in a manner so as to minimize any traffic obstructions.

      B.  Snow Removal

The Town Road Supervisor will determine when and if snow will be removed by truck from the area. Such snow removal will occur only in areas where accumulated piles of snow create a hazardous condition. Snow removal operations will not commence until other snow plowing operations have been completed. Snow removal operations may also be delayed depending on weather conditions, personnel and budget availability. The snow will be removed and hauled to a snow storage area. The snow storage area will be located so as to minimize environmental problems.

      C.  Use of Sand and Salt

The Township and/or private or public contractors will use sand and salt when there are hazardous ice or slippery conditions. Sanding is done at problem locations on paved roads including intersections, curves and hills. The Township is concerned about the effect of salt on the environment and will limit its use for that reason.

      D.  Priorities for Plowing

The main high volume roads which connect major sections of the township and provide access for emergency fire, sheriff and medical services are plowed and maintained by the County of Beltrami.  All other township roads will be plowed from the western boundary of the township to the eastern boundary, taking into account road and population density. This shall be accomplished in a manner consistent with other sections of this policy in order to maximize the use of limited personnel and equipment and to avoid costly deadheading.


Questions or concerns regarding the snow removal and/or road conditions should be directed to the township Road Supervisor or the township Clerk/Administrator at 751-4989.

Adopted April 8, 1991.

Revised November 12, 1996

Northern Township is part of the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board

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