Syracuse may scrap snow plow licenses, after just updating law

Nov 15, 2018

Syracuse may get rid of requiring snow plow contractors to have a license to operate in the city. This comes just a month after the common council voted on updating some antiquated aspects of the law.

Councilor Susan Boyle said correcting the city’s old law spurred further discussion on getting rid of city snow plow licenses all together. She said there is currently no benefit to the community. It costs $250 and some operators told councilors they were going to have to raise their prices after the city started increasing enforcement. 

“It’s not good for small business," Boyle said. "It’s not good for people trying to create a supplemental income in the winter time and benefit from our snow. If it were beneficial to the community, if it were something that was going to help us enforce our existing law or help us to provide a better service and safety to the people of the city, I would be for it, but as of now, it does not.”

But Corey Driscoll Dunham, the city’s director of operations, said the license lets residents know that a snow plow operator has met certain requirements.

“A lot of them do a great job but some dump snow in the middle of the street, which makes it very difficult for our plow drivers, it makes it dangerous for drivers, dumping snow on sidewalks or on fire hydrants," Dunham said. "This licensing, we feel, is an important tool in terms of enforcement. It also gives us an opportunity to educate private snow plow operators in terms of what our ordinances are.”

Dunham said the plan was to promote licensed snow plow contractors on the city’s website this year, to inform homeowners. The Syracuse Common Council will hold a meeting with members of the mayor’s administration Friday to debate the topic more. Eliminating the license could be voted on Monday.