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Debate over snowplow ordinance turns into a learning experience

Regulatory News

Lake County, Ill., landscape and snowplow operators would need a certificate of insurance, bond, a $100 fee the first year and $50 renewal fee the following years.

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Outside News Source May 12, 2010

Some Lake County, Ill., students experienced local government in action first-hand Tuesday night as they heard a resident's objection to a proposed amendment to an ordinance regulating snowplow and landscape operators.

The students joined elected and appointed officials on the town council during its regular meeting as part of an annual student government event.

Resident Anne Collins, of Taney Place, told council members she didn't think the amendment would accomplish what the board intends -- to eliminate the possibility of unscrupulous people using the work as a ruse to scope out neighborhoods.

"Many large landscapers have employees who come from out of town to do summer work. Your problem wouldn't be solved when you have people coming in from out of town," Collins said.

She said the law would hurt her neighbor, who does her snowblowing and lawn mowing, as well as that of four others in town, along with his son.

"He doesn't make enough from me to pay insurance and all his other costs. You're probably putting hundreds of others out of business, too," she said.

"I ask that you think about the little guy," she said as others at the meeting applauded.

Council members have stressed that the law would not include the little guy that only does his neighbor's lawn, but Collins said her neighbor would be included because he has several customers.

Councilman Shawn Pettit, D-6th, said under the new rule, landscape and snowplow operators would need a certificate of insurance, bond, a $100 fee the first year and $50 renewal fee the following years, as well as a $10 hanging tag for each truck used in town.

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