With the early snowstorms snarling Montana traffic already this season, the City of Hamilton wants to remind residents of some of the winter chores in town. Of course, the city snow plows will be clearing the main streets on snow days. They start early in the morning and clear the Snow Route streets first - Main, State, Pine, 10th and 5th Streets, Fairgrounds Road and Kurtz Lane. Because they are snow routes, no parking is allowed between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. from November 15 to February 28. Also, when they're working, please give the plows plenty of room.

If you have a company plowing your parking lot or driveway, they need to have a valid city business license and insurance. Contractors need a temporary snow removal permit, available at the Public Works Department - 406 363-6717.

Residents and businesses - city ordinance states that sidewalks must be cleared as soon as possible, but no later than 9 a.m. The ADA corner ramps (sidewalk bulb-outs) also need to be cleared. If you use ice melt, please use the type that is Pet Friendly.

The fire hydrants need to be cleared of snow, too. If you have one near your house, please try clear about 6 feet around it. It really helps the fire department when they respond to an emergency.

What to do with all that snow? It needs to stay on your property. Don't put it in the city street right-of-way. Piles of snow shouldn't block such areas as pedestrian roadway crossings, handicap parking spaces, alley openings, curb or gutter boulevard.

A health tip - don't try to do all your shoveling at once. Take your time and don't risk over-exertion. Too many people find themselves in the emergency room in the winter. And after you've cleared your sidewalk, grab a cup of hot chocolate, sit in a nicy comfy chair and look out the window at all the pretty snow.