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Another town,another $25.00 plow permit

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grandview, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Story plus a few comments people wrote in,

    Updated: November 29, 2011, 6:29 AM

    Snowplowing will now be regulated in the Town of West Seneca following the Town Board’s unanimous approval Monday night of a local law requiring permits for operators of plows.

    Officials said the new law will allow the town to monitor independent snowplow operators and better help residents resolve disputes that may arise.

    “It’s something the code-enforcement officer wanted,” said Shawn P. Martin, town attorney. “It’s a monitoring thing. We’ve had some issues [with snowplow operators].”

    Some of those issues have included piling up snow on properties not contracted with by the plow operators, as well as causing damage to those other properties, according to Martin.

    The new law should send a message to those who “act improperly” when they plow snow in West Seneca to now “act appropriately,” Martin said.

    He added: “If you’re a constant violator, maybe you don’t get a permit next year.”

    The law calls for anyone performing snowplow work other than on their own property to apply to the town clerk for a $25 permit. With the application, a snowplow operator must furnish name and address, driver’s license number, the plow’s vehicle identification number and a certificate of insurance.

    The measure is not designed to generate revenue for the town, according to Martin, who said that is why Town Board members established only a nominal fee. With the permit, snowplow drivers will receive an annual sticker from the town to place on their vehicles.

    The permits will run from Oct. 1 to April 30. Martin expected West Seneca’s law to be officially on the books in about a week’s time, after it is approved by the Secretary of State’s Office in Albany.


    Mr. Wendt,

    Most of the time you make sense, even though I may not always agree. But this time you're so far off base, you're not even in the park. You're in Buffalo, then do your plowing in Buffalo and stay out of WS if you don't like the rules. The rules are there to protect us property owners from plow driver who rut up the lawns, block other peoples driveways, block parking at the curb and impede traffic. Not to mention the noise level in the early morning hours or late night. Plus you guys plow the driveways and leave a major buildup at the sidewalk edge that we as pedestrians must use the street! And your remark about four feet of snow makes little or no sense. It's the two feet or less that need the private plow guys at the right time. Four feet of snow and no one is gong anywhere. I don't know about the city but here in most suburbs neighbors help each other out. I've never seen a private plow guy help the little old lady struggling with a shovel when he finishes the house next door. Unless he gets paid he just drives away. I think the $25 fee is more than fair.

    NORM NICASTRO, WEST SENECA, NY on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 01:47 PM

    * Flag As Inappropriate

    its not only about the money - its about absolute control - now the Town can "ask" absolutely anything of the plow operators because its no longer a "right" to try and make a living - its a privlige that the Town can take away by not re-newing permits.

    the Town already has the LAW and a courtroom to handle plow problems - its not like they were previously an old women in their robe and slippers dealing with bad plowboys.

    wait until we get 4 feet of snow and the permitted few cant handle the whole town....will be interesting

    ROBERT WENDT, BUFFALO, NY on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    * Flag As Inappropriate

    It cost to implement this type of thing. $25 is nothing now days. This is a good thing for a minimal cost to the operator. If you're an operator and complain about this then you should not be in the plowing business. This type of law is what will weed out the bad "apples".

    NORM NICASTRO, WEST SENECA, NY on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:46 AM

    * Flag As Inappropriate

    If it isn't about the money, why not make it $5.00. Any time somebody says, "It's not about the money", you can be sure that it is definitely about the money.
  2. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    They've been talking about doing the same thing in a couple of townships around us, for most of the same reasons stated in the story. Even though I'm not overly keen on the whole idea, I think it might weed out some of the grubs around here.
  3. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    So whats your take on it?
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I could care less ,to many guys here plow and the cops don't want to get out of their cars. If someone does complain the building inspector would have to come out and look. Then he would have to send out a letter to the plowing company if they know who they are. Then they have 30 days to fix it. Or if a cop does decide to do something he can write up a ticket for something.
  5. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    It's all about enforcement!!! Are they going to fine anyone that doesn't have a permit?
  6. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    So its just a big joke? Prob not a huge cash grab for the city either or is it seeing as they have cops and by law officers already out there, they just need to get the stickers made up and pay someone to collect the $25.00
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Thing is,I never heard what the fine is for not having one. I did hear of a guy getting a tix for not have one but the court thew it out because he went and bought a permit.
  8. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Charging a pathetic 25 bucks isn't going to prevent the "bad apple's" from getting a permit. However, having to show proof of insurance will. I would love it if our city would require you to show proof of insurance AND show proof throughout the season. Problem is who's going to enforce it? A code enforcement officer, yeah right maybe for the first few weeks then you'll never see them again.
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    They work here 9am to 4 pm
  10. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    My gut says it won't be enforced until someone complains. I personally like the idea... If it included a public awareness campagin of some sort, enforcement, & maybe a registration number be required on agreements. My questions are this now what happens to the guys "doing it on the side before work" (which there are alot of in residential work) that don't have commercial truck insurance & bus liability & what happens to the operations that have multiple units/drivers, etc. If well thought out, written & enforced the idea has it merits all around. I just don't foree this or any town doing it properly.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  11. nor'easter1

    nor'easter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    Clear cut it's another tax period!! Who is going to enforce this nonsense seriously! Where I live the trees got slaughtered in the Halloween storm. There are tree idiots from all over the country here trying to make a quick buck. A company that was working across the street from me had 5 and 7 year olds no helmets no hearing protection etc. standing under trees while a climber with a butt dangling from his mouth cut limbs to the ground barely missing the kids. They took out power to the house they were working on 3 times in two days and missed a school bus by two seconds. I called Osha, DEP, Cops what happened NOTHING! I hate to be Debbie Downer but those of us in the outdoor business best realize that jokers will be around for ever. One out of ten thousand "hacks" or low ballers ever get caught not good odds for legitimate companies playing by the rules. Each year I think the same thing these guys can't keep going and pow there they are. How do you stop it, not through goverment rules or by joining so called expert organizations that do nothing but reach further into your pocket through codes like dues, or training, great exposure for your company etc. No you decide this is what you want to do put your head down and get to honest hard work to secure a bond with your customers and not worry about the "hacks". Life is short and this is no dress rehearsal!
  12. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    I think it's a good idea for what Brian mentioned, insurance.
    I bet half the people plowing out there do not have the correct type or amount of insurance. However, the point was also made, who's going to enforce it? I highly doubt there will be a govt. employee out at 3am checking permits.
    Instead of a permit, it should be a business registration.
  13. Landgreen

    Landgreen Member
    Messages: 92

    So if someone that is not a contractor wants to plow a friends house they have to get a permit?
  14. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    In Pennsylvania, we have what they call a PA "contractor's license" which is supposed to weed out the uninsured, sketchy companies but guess what, does NOTHING! You have to have the number printed on every piece of advertising and on every piece of equipment. Your supposed to have it if you do more than 5k worth of home improvements a year and the word improvement is very vague. It also states "all contractor's SHALL have this license" and it also says this very stupid one liner, "all potential customer's are ENCOURAGED to use these licensed contractors". So we NEED it but people are only ENCOURAGED to use us. I have yet to see any code enforcement do anything about it. Ours is a 50.00 fee and we don't even get a fancy sticker, we have to also spend the money for the print. Like nor'easter said, if there's no public awareness very few people are going to know and then nothing changes.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  15. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    No plowing friends houses.....good deeds not allowed :rolleyes:
  16. 7_below

    7_below Senior Member
    Messages: 245

  17. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    This is all well and good but do they enforce it? If they do something like this, I think it makes everybody play on the same level. I'm sure there's guys who would still risk getting caught but every shady guy I've seen didn't look like they would have the ambition to jump through all those hoops and would say screw it. My Wife, God love her, disagree's with me on licensing etc. She say's the market will eventually take care of these types of guys. I said it will but by the time "it took care of them" 20 other guys will be doing the same thing. I told her my point is we need to make the entrance to this profession more professional. With most other service industry professions you need schooling, mandated insurance etc. and fines if you don't follow the rules.
  18. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    About the syracuse code, $ 20/ per vehical, but the fine for not having the "permit" is only a max of $150, so for me, if I didn't think or knew it wasn't being enforced why bother. It would cost more than the fine to get permits on equipment & trucks (14 units @ $ 20, is $ 280). Backwards logic but why fine yourself twice a year, times however many years before , if ever getting a real "fine". Unless clients are asking about it.
  19. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Local town in DE Elsmere has a requirement that anyone doing business in the town is required to have a $100 a year business license. If they catch you doing business with out a license the license is now $200. No matter what you do, if you do it commercially it requires a license and Elsmere residents wonder why their choices in vendors are so limited. I know a number of contractors that won't work their because the license/permit costs or to high

    I had a employee deliver parts to the town's (Elsmere) maintenance department on his way home one night, two days later I received a certified letter with the proper applications and a nasty warning. I have told the maintenance dept that we will no longer deliver parts.:gunsfiring::gunsfiring:
  20. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    The law is a good start, with some issues. Would I need a permit to plow my own driveway? Or my sister's down the street? I like the idea of mandating insurance, but they're really just singling out the snow removal guys. Alot of us deal with the lowballers in the winter and then again the rest of the year when they throw a mower in their truck and cut grass for half the cost we charge. But in a way we're probably all guilty of something similar. I'm not a roofer and would never get a roofing license, but I can put a roof on and have done a roof for a neighbor. So I guess if this were a forum about roofing, everyone would be calling me a lowballer, or a hack...stealing work from all the roofers. The point I'm making is I'd love to eliminate the fly-by-nights but you'd have to keep it uniform for all trades and that would be nearly impossible to enforce, and I'd be a hypocrit to ask for it.