Thursday, December 17, 2015
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
For the purposes of this short report on the cost of snow removal I called the various property owners associations to ascertain what they pay for removal. I also contacted the State of California regarding the responsibility, if any, of the County to provide such services.
A discussion of this issue should also include examination of other services provided by the County, such as health, welfare, and medical services for illegal aliens, which are not mandated by law. An examination of those costs is now being researched.
Here is what I was told by the State of California.
“The only statutory obligation is that a County is responsible for maintaining it's property in a manner that does not constitute a "dangerous condition" of public property as defined by Government code Section 830(a), i.e. "a condition of property that creates a substantial (as distinguished from a minor, trivial, or insignificant) risk of injury when such property or adjacent property is used with due care in a manner in which it is reasonably foreseeable that it will be used."
These expenses are included, reasonably, as a tax funded expense for residents in these two communities. As we proceed up the Mountain this changes. Here is what residents pay at different elevations and distance from Highway 190.
Naturally, communities at higher elevations experience more snow fall and are thus in need of more snow removal.
Snow not removed from streets and roads constitutes a dangerous condition in my view and in the view of the several residents to whom I posed the question. While this measure is general in nature another factor that must be considered is the additional obligation of the County to provide services for such specific needs as disabilities of handicaps. The County of Tulare receives Federal funding to provide services to disabled individuals and this is deemed to be an obligation. These are separate factors but each must be considered.
The statute from the State of California does not provide latitude for maintaining County property in a hazardous condition. I construe this to mean that all roads owned by the County must therefore be cleared and doing so is obligatory on their part. If it is an obligation then it is not optional and must be paid for through taxes already paid by residents. Please let me know if you have another view.
Pierpoint & Camp Nelson – 4,426 Foot Elevation
There is no additional cost for snow removal at Camp Nelson or Pierpoint. Each of these communities are directly accessible off highway 190. Therefore there is no additional expense for snow removal through an access road.
Cedar Slope – 5,797 Foot Elevation
$80.00 a year for a cabin
$40.00 a year for a lot
Cedar Slope is directly on Highway 190 so there is no extra cost in accessing the community from Highway 190.
Alpine Village - 6,500 Foot Elevation
$32.00 a year – Cabin
$10.00 a year – Lot
Alpine Village is approximately 3.1 miles off Highway 190 over Redwood Drive.
Sequoia Crest – 7,000 – 7,200 Foot Elevation
Cost of snow removal
$42.00 a year – Cabin
$12.00 a year – Lot
Sequoia Crest is accessed via Redwood Drive, as is Alpine Village. It is approximately 3.1 miles beyond Alpine Village.
Ponderosa - 7,200 Foot Elevation
I have not been able to get the figures for the cost of removal but have been told that the County does not remove snow in the community.
Ponderosa is directly off Highway 190
The official who is in charge of ensuring that services are delivered as mandated by statute and in keeping with the needs of residents is Mike Ennis, County Supervisor. Ennis owns a cabin located at:
Michael T & Diane Ennis
54738 Chinquapin in Sequoia Crest
It is my view that the County is obligated to provide snow removal to all communities on the Mountain with roads owned by the County. I invite discussion of this issue as the first in a series of such discussions. Please use Comments to begin this dialog.