Matthews Bill Would Help Plow Neighborhood Roads Leading to Schools

DOVER – Community associations that plow roads leading to neighborhood schools would be reimbursed for plowing during smaller snowstorms under legislation filed Tuesday.

Rep. Sean Matthews noted that current law allows communities participating in the Delaware Department of Transportation’s snow removal program to get reimbursed for plowing roads when snow events are equal to or greater than four inches. With more than 30 schools throughout New Castle County located within subdivisions, this limit often leads to communities not being able to afford to plow during smaller snowfalls, creating hazardous travel conditions.

House Bill 129 would allow these communities to be reimbursed for plowing these “feeder roads” leading to the schools if the snowfall is between two and four inches.

“In the past, some civic associations were choosing to not plow or could not afford to plow their feeder roads for smaller storms under current the four-inch reimbursement threshold. Snow storms of two-to-three inches followed by days of extreme cold led to dangerous icy conditions when the civic association chose not to or couldn’t afford to plow,” said Rep. Matthews, D-Talleyville/Claymont. “This bill simply adjusts the current reimbursement structure for ‘feeder roads’ to allow for reimbursement for smaller storms. This bill allows parents, students and teachers to have safer passage during the winter months to a school within a subdivision.”

DelDOT has indicated that the additional cost to plow feeder roads for these 34 schools would be nominal and absorbed by the existing snow removal reimbursement program.

HB 129 has been assigned to the House Transportation, Land Use & Infrastructure Committee.