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January 2021
Featured Articles

We Do Everything Except...
Your Snow Removal Questions Answered
Winter Reminders
Winterize Your Car

We Do Everything Except...

The Kirkwood Meadows PUD (KMPUD) is considered a small Special District compared to other Special Districts around the state. Special Districts are government entities that provide specific services to the communities in which they are located. Most Special Districts provide a single service but in some instances, such as with KMPUD, several types of services are provided. Despite our small size, KMPUD provides Water and Wastewater, Electricity, Propane, Solid Waste, Parks and Recreation, Snow Removal, and Fire Protection services. With all of those services, is there anything that KMPUD does not do?.  The main service that we don't provide, that we get a lot of questions about, is entering customer's homes to investigate or stop  water or propane leaks. The District does have a meter monitoring system that alerts staff to excessive water or propane usage, which could indicate a leak. As a courtesy, staff members will contact the customer to inform them of the potential leak, but if one is discovered the customer must have a property manager, plumber, or neighbor enter their home. Another service that the District does not provide yet fields numerous questions about is Snow Removal on Kirkwood Meadows Drive. Kirkwood Mountain Resort is responsible for removing snow from their guest parking lots, Loop Road, and along Kirkwood Meadows Drive from Merrill Road near Highway 88 at the entrance to the beginning of East Meadows Drive. KMPUD removes snow under contract on the roads, parking pads, parking lots, and private driveways for each homeowner's association in Kirkwood. Examples of other services that the District does not provide are road maintenance, street sign maintenance, storm drain maintenance, and snow removal by hand. These services are provided by your homeowner's association or property manager. If you have questions about District services, please call one of our customer service representatives at (209)258-4444.

Your Snow Removal Questions Answered

Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District provides snow removal service on a voluntary contractual basis with many Homeowner's Associations and private driveway customers in Kirkwood. Over the years, the nature of the Snow Removal service has evolved, including the type and amount of equipment used; transitioning to seasonal labor rather than using District operations Staff; and methods of providing a more efficient and cost-effective service. Inevitably, customers have questions about their Snow Removal Service. We hope to answer some of your questions here.

Q: Why does the Snow Removal Operator sometimes skip my driveway?
A: There are a number of reasons that a Snow Removal Operator will skip a driveway. Here are some of the most common reasons:
* The Operator is completing driveways on the Residency List first. (The Residency List includes homes that are occupied at the time of plowing. To be included on the Residency List, please follow the Residency Notifications instructions in the Winter Reminders article below.)
* The Operator is removing snow from the roads so driveways can be accessed.
* There is a vehicle or other object(s) in your driveway preventing snow removal equipment from safely operating.
* There are vehicles parked on the road close to your driveway preventing snow removal equipment from safely entering your driveway.
* Your garage door is open.
* The Operator believes that an unsafe condition exists, in or adjacent to the removal area.

Q: Why is my driveway not completely plowed some of the time and why is there a berm of snow in front of my garage?
A: Each driveway is different with various nuances that Snow Removal Operators must be aware of in order to prevent damage to your property and the snow removal equipment to complete plowing safely. District equipment is not designed to "scrape" the pavement, so there will invariably be some minor amount of snow remaining after plowing. Additionally, if your driveway has uneven surfaces, posts, overhangs, etc., the District Operator must take care to prevent damage to your driveway and property and might not remove snow down to the surface. In an effort to reduce property damage, it is the policy of the District to train Snow Removal Operators toremain  a safe distance from your house and garage door. As stated in your private driveway snow removal contract, "The District will attempt to maintain necessary distances, as determined by District personnel, from structures and snow stakes for the safety of operator, equipment, and to avoid possible damage to private property." Depending on the snow load in your driveway, keeping this safe distance can result in a berm of snow left in front of your garage door. If you need help removing the snow berm, and would like to hire someone to hand shovel, please follow this link to the Kirkwood Service Providers list on the District website: Kirkwood Service Providers

Q: Is there special emphasis during big storms to help people reach their Kirkwood home?
A: During big snow storms Snow Removal Operators focus on keeping roads clear for emergency access and will remove snow from private driveways as time and staffing permit. If the rate of snowfall is greater that what the Operators and equipment can safely keep up with, they will focus on roads only and remove snow from private driveways and parking pads once the roads can be maintained.

Q: Why are Operators plowing so far away (multiple feet) from my snow stakes line but then sometimes plowing so close to the snow stakes that they hit some of the snow stakes?
A: After a large snowfall, Operators will plow a vehicle wide path to your garage and return later to remove excess snow along the edges as time permits. Sometimes, homeowners allow the snow to build up behind the stakes, bending them into the normal plow area, thereby reducing the snow removal footprint. Homeowners should periodically inspect and correct these deficiencies. Another reason Operators vary in distance plowed is poor visibility. If the Operator cannot see well due to extreme wind or snowfall, the Operator will do the best they can to clear a vehicle wide path to your garage, intending to return later under better conditions to clean up.

Q: Why do Operators blow snow on fire hydrants that they need to keep clear for fire?
A: Operators always try to do their best not to blow snow onto fire hydrants but sometimes visibility is poor due to wind and snowfall, and they just can't see the fire hydrant.

Q: Can I help clear snow from the fire hydrant next to my home?
A: Yes! If you would like to remove snow from around fire hydrants, please do so with care as to not damage the hydrant or associated piping. Your efforts will be appreciated by your neighbors, District Staff, and the Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department.

Q: Is Snow Removal cleanup less frequent and more delayed than previously? For example, after people clear snow off their cars and move them.
A: It's all about timing! If you remove snow from your car or deck into your driveway or parking pad more than 24-hours after the storm is over Operators may not be back to your driveway until the next storm cycle. Please plan on removing snow from your car or deck within 24-hours after a storm is over.

Snow Removal is a difficult job that occurs during the most extreme weather and snow conditions. The District thanks you for your patience and understanding! If you have further questions or comments, please call the District at (209) 258-4444.

Winter Reminders

Winter Parking Advisory
*Avoid parking on the street, park your car in your driveway or paved parking pads. If you must park on the street overnight because there is no space for you in your driveway or on a parking pad, plan on moving your vehicle as soon as possible the following morning.
* If you must park on the street during a storm, stake the four corners of your vehicle with orange snow stakes; these will be easiest for Operators to see in the dark in a blizzard. Snow stakes are for sale at the District office for $10 each, while supplies last; call the District office at (209) 258-4444 to arrange purchase.
* When you park your car on a paved parking pad, be sure to pull in so that your entire vehicle is past the snow stake line. This is an imaginary line passing between the snow stakes that District Staff has placed on the sides of your street to guide Snow Removal Operators.
* Please dig your car out and move it within 24-hours after a storm so that the Operators can clear your driveway and parking pad.

Snow Removal Equipment
Snow removal equipment is dangerous, PLEASE STAY AWAY! Remember that Operators can't always see or hear you, your children, your pets, or your cars, so please do not approach the equipment or block an Operator with your car. No question, concern, or complaint is worth your life! If you need to communicate with the District, the only safe, appropriate way is to call the District office at (209) 258-4444. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00am through 4:30pm. If calling after hours, leave a message and our customer service staff will return your call and address your concern as soon as possible.

Residency Notifications
If you have a driveway in Kirkwood Meadows HOA, Palisades HOA, and/or East Meadows HOA, please let us know when you are arriving and departing your Kirkwood home at least 24-hours prior to your arrival and/or departure. This will place your driveway on the District's Residency List which is generated every day and distributed to Operators at the beginning of their shift. During periods of heavy snow or limited equipment or staff availability, the Residency List is used to prioritize driveway plowing. In order to be included on the Residency List the next time you or your guests plan to be at your Kirkwood home, follow these instructions:

1. Log into your account on www.kmpud.com
2. Click My Account in the right side of the screen.
3. At the bottom of the menu that appears, click Manage Snow Removal
4. Under Residency Notification, set your arrival and departure dates in the drop-down menus and enter customer notes if needed.
5. Click Set Notification.

Tips To Winterize Your Car

Winter driving in the Sierra Nevada can be hazardous and sometimes impossible! While it's important that you are prepared for winter driving , it is also important that your car is up for the challenge of getting to Kirkwood. Follow the recommendations below to make sure your car can handle winter conditions.

* Install winter windshield wipers.
* Mount winter tires and always maintain proper tire pressure.
* Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times.
* Keep washer fluid full with antifreeze washer fluid.
* Have your car serviced for winter conditions and service your car regularly throughout winter.
* Pack a winter safety kit to be prepared for long delays.

KMPUD Board of Directors: Eric Richert - President; Bob Epstein - Vice President Standish O'Grady - Treasurer; Peter Dornbrook - Secretary; Bertrand Perroud - Assistant Secretary
Website: www.kmpud.com; Phone: (209)258-4444; Email: info@kmpud.com
Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer

 

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