Downtown snow hurting business - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Downtown snow hurting business

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- The snow and cold creates a problem many cities face: clearing snow from crowded downtown streets. In Waterloo, some businesses think the way it's done is freezing up their business and it may lead to a change in policy.

"If the customers can't get to us, then my business goes down," says Buck Clark, owner of Jameson's Pub on East 4th Street in downtown Waterloo.

When snow falls in downtown Waterloo, and it's been falling a lot already this season, it creates quite a dilemma for downtown business owners, like Buck Clark. He's urging the Waterloo City Council to make clearing downtown areas a bigger priority.

"If a driveway doesn't get cleared it's an inconvenience," Clark explained. "When our parking places and our sidewalks don't get cleared in a timely manner, that affects my business and I lose money over that."

Buck says he and other downtown business owners are frustrated with the snow removal process. Especially after this summers floods and a recently finished reconstruction of East Fourth Street already hurt business.

"I think we're doing the best we can," said Waterloo Mayor Tim Hurley.

Mayor Hurley says downtown streets get first priority after main highways are clear, but crowded downtown streets pose a problem.

"Particularly downtown we can't do a very good job during the day, so typically we do that from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am," said Mayor Hurley.

In fact, Waterloo plans to remove downtown snow overnight Tuesday, asking all cars leave downtown. It's a pro-active policy move Buck Clark likes to see.

"Hopefully it will take care of the problem if they can continue that I think we'll be in good shape," said Clark.

Meanwhile, Mayor Hurley will work on developing a new permanent policy to dig out downtown.

"Those are the 2 challenges parked vehicles that are in the way of efficient, effective snow removal, and no place to put the snow," said hurley.

One idea Mayor Hurley is suggesting: banning overnight parking in downtown Waterloo from November through March.

Any new policy, though, won't take effect until next winter.

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