Lake St. Louis paying for snow removal on private streets, Mayor says it's unconstitutional

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 8 at 8:20 PM

LAKE ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Lake St. Louis will start spending public money on private property this winter. The city will spend thousands of taxpayer dollars each year for snowplowing on private streets.

Private subdivisions are now having the city of Lake St. Louis pay to have their streets plowed of snow this winter.

News 4 talked to Mayor Mike Potter about the issue, who says it’s not right, and residents in these subdivisions shouldn’t get to have it both ways.”

“In my opinion, it’s not constitutional,” Mayor Potter said.

Residents in the neighborhoods in question set their own speed limits and control who goes in and out with locked gates.

“These people chose to live on private streets, knowing full well they’d be paying the same taxes but wouldn’t get street maintenance and snow plowing,” he said.

But a new law says the city has to put up the money to plow the streets. One alderman who voted in favor of the measure insists it is legal, and says the city owes it to homeowners who contribute to street maintenance.

But Potter says there’s another wrinkle that complicates the matter. For liability reasons, the law says only private streets with homeowner associations can qualify for service, leaving those who don’t live with HOAs snowed in or stuck paying for it themselves.

“I don’t think it’s fair to other people that don’t live on streets that don’t have homeowner’s associations,” said Potter. “They should be upset I think.”

The ordinance is modeled after a similar bill passed in chesterfield.

 

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