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May 13, 2014

City approves snow-removal item

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh councilors approved a resolution that they hope will help keep sidewalks clear of snow in the future.

The measure would create a list of volunteers who will shovel snow for property owners who are elderly, disabled, very ill or otherwise physically unable to maintain their own sidewalks following heavy snowfalls or icing conditions.

Also, a list of paid snow and ice removers for any property owner who wants to pay for the service at a fair price will be compiled.

The City Clerk's Office will maintain the lists.

The resolution also calls for the city to create a website and brochure for snow- and ice-removal information and snowstorm parking tips, which will be issued with utility bills and other widely distributed notices.

The resolution was offered by Councilor Michael Kelly (D-Ward 2) after a winter where sidewalks were often blocked by heavy snow and ice.

The city requires property owners to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a heavy snowfall. If they don't, the city has the right to clear the walks for them and send the owner a bill.

The regulation is complaint driven, and this year, the city had to deal with more complaints than usual.

JUST A START

Councilor Becky Kasper (D-Ward 5) said Kelly's resolution was a step in the right direction.

"I don't see this as the end of the discussion," she said at the last City Common Council meeting.

"We worked hard to come up with a way of affecting, if not solving, the problem of snow. It's a start."

Kasper said the system can always be adjusted again if need be.

"We will come back and try again to make it easier," she said.

"It's really not the end of the conversation; it's really the beginning."

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