Snow Removal Regulations a Hot Topic

Monday’s rain may have started to make the huge piles of snow recede but more than 20 residents were on hand last Wednesday night at the joint meeting of the Rules and Ordinances Committee at City Hall to voice their opinions on the new snow removal regulations.

The meeting was chaired by several members of the Common Council and Board of Aldermen as well as several city officials

And there was a huge disparity for the proposed language for the new regulation.

However, all residents and officials agreed that the sidewalks needed to be made passable.

“We need to care about the kids getting to school,” Maureen Troy said. “People are too lazy to shovel, so let’s pass a law and enforce it.”

According to Frank Nuzzo of Code Enforcement there is a law on the books that he enforces only as the last resort.  He mentioned that he usually talks to the different offenders to correct the situation and if that fails then he would issue a ticket.

Another resident Kathy Cocorochio said that she has walked the city frequently and noticed that people make the sidewalks impassable by creating huge piles of snow.

“I am taking my life in my hands,” she said referring to the fact that she and many residents are forced to walk in the streets due to the snowbanks created both by city plows and residents that are blocking the entrance to the sidewalks.

A senior citizen noted that he pays more than $75.00 per snowstorm to have his walkway cleared and this is creating a financial burden.

Presently, under the current law, residents who qualify can receive a waiver that would exempt them from clearing their sidewalk.

However, city Solicitor Colleen Mejia noted that sidewalks are owned by the city and that the ultimate responsibility to keep them clear is up to the city. Otherwise, the city could be held liable in a lawsuit.

The amount of time after the snowstorm ends to have the sidewalk cleared also was discussed with the need to have it increased from the present two hours.

The Aldermen and Councilors voted to move this matter to their March meeting to review all the information that they had received at the hearing

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