Should taxpayers pay for snow removal on private streets?

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by Ray Preston / News 4 and Ruella Rouf / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Updated Thursday, May 22 at 5:47 PM

(KMOV.com) – Residents of private streets in Lake St. Louis say that the city should help with winter snow removal, but the city said it cannot help.

According to a Lake St. Louis alderman John Pellerito, the city plowing snow would be a violation of the Missouri Constitution because the streets in question are private. 

The Heritage of Hawk Ridge subdivision in Lake St. Louis is a gated community around a public golf course, but the streets are private. Residents of the community said they spent over $100,000 last year for snow removal.

“This is a 55-plus community, so you’re dealing with older people,” said resident Jane Chassey. “We are taxpayers and we’re getting next to nothing for our money. I call it discrimination against the elderly,” she said.

Residents said there are about 250 homes in the neighborhood, and more will be added. It will increase up to 500 homes. Currently residents pay about $125,000 to the city.

“We feel that we’re paying a lot in taxes and the people feel we’re not getting support. We own the streets, we take care of the streets, but we could certainly use some help with the snow removal,” said resident Ann Zito.

A city official said that about seven percent of the roads are private in Lake St. Louis. Who should pay for snow removal has been a debate for years.

Alderman John Pellerito said the state constitution is clear. Public funds simply cannot be used for private neighborhood associations. 

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