PLATTSBURGH — The question of how to deal with snow and ice-covered sidewalks has been debated at length for decades in the City of Plattsburgh.
Councilor Michael Kelly hopes he has a solution.
“Hopefully, when this passes and is implemented, it will be in a way that is very helpful and effective,” he said at a recent meeting.
Kelly (D-Ward 2) is offering a resolution that will create a database of snow-shovelers, both volunteer and paid, to help clear sidewalks after significant snowstorms.
The issue each winter is that some sidewalks are not cleared by property owners, making pedestrian travel difficult or even perilous.
The city has a law that requires property owners to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snowstorm. If they don’t, the city’s Public Works Department will do it for them and send them a bill.
The process is complaint driven and hasn’t been regarded as very successful.
Kelly’s plan would include the City Clerk’s Office maintaining a list of volunteers who would shovel snow for property owners who are very ill, elderly, disabled or otherwise physically unable to maintain their own sidewalks.
Recipients of volunteer shoveling services must show that they are financially unable to pay for the service.
“We still have to work out the details of how that will work, but basically if you are on a fixed income and can show that it would be difficult, I could see that qualifying,” Kelly said.
The measure also calls for a list of paid snow and ice removers, to be compiled by the Clerk’s Office, for people to hire at a fair price.
The price would be determined mostly by the length of sidewalk.
“It’s hard to have one fixed price because they are all different,” Kelly said.