Snow Control Snow and Ice a Challenge for Association Boards

A snowy winter is a child's dream. What's more fun than the chance to build snowmen, dominate in snowball fights and of course, relish in the pure joy that is a snow day? Oh, to be young, blissful—and mostly ignorant of the havoc wreaked by major winter weather.

Conversely, for adults, the prospect of a snow event is regarded with dread. Frosty the Snowman becomes a sinister sign of impending mayhem, especially for co-ops and condos, which are responsible for keeping residents safe from snow- and ice-related slips and falls.

The key is preparedness, says Michael Romano, an operations manager and director of snow operations with ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance, a national landscape company, with a local office in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

“A well-developed snow and ice removal plan is essential to maintaining the safety, accessibility and financial stability of properties, while working to mitigate risks associated with weather conditions for residents and visitors,” Romano says. “Property managers in New Jersey must know when to build a comprehensive snow response plan, and how to select the most appropriate snow removal partner who can mobilize fleets, provide scalability on demand, and deliver well-trained crews under adverse conditions. The most effective snow plans are proactively established well before the arrival of winter storms,” he says.

Removal Responsibility

Unlike states such as New York, there is no statewide law regarding snow removal of property in New Jersey—individual municipalities and townships implement their own snow removal policies and regulations. Depending on the area and the association, snow removal services might be provided by the municipality, or a condo, co-op or HOA might take charge of removal themselves. Per the Municipal Services Act, which was implemented in 1993, municipalities must reimburse private communities in the designated townships for snow and ice removal.

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