After last week’s snow storm I received a number of complaints about sidewalks in front of people's properties. Some were not cleared of snow. Property owners are responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks in front of their property. When we receive complaints we send an inspector out who issues a violation or summons. The courts decides the penalty which could be as much as $250. If the condition poses a threat to public safety the law provides that the Town can cure the condition and bill the responsible party only if the Town has previously notified the responsible party and the condition has not been cured in a reasonable period of time.
§ 430-15Duty to keep sidewalks free of obstructions.
The landowner of any property abutting any street, highway or road in the Town and the occupant of any premises where a sidewalk or pedestrian walkway has been installed are required to keep the sidewalk bordering the property or premises free and clear of snow, ice, dirt or other obstructions within 24 hours after an obstruction is created. In the event that the obstruction cannot be removed without damaging the sidewalk, the use of salt and/or ashes is permitted to the extent otherwise permitted by law.
SUGGESTION: Although most people comply with the law some don't. Possibly because they are not aware of the law. I plan to recommend that we create a data base of all properties in town abutting sidewalks that need to be cleared of snow by the property owner. Once a year we should send the property owner a reminder of their responsibilities and a telephone robo call message highlighting the law and the penalties. Think that a friendly reminder will improve compliance and increase pedestrian safety during the winter months. Hopefully, a data base could be created by the fall, 2017- in time for next winter.
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