Press-Republican

January 22, 2014

Facebook readers debate icy sidewalks


Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — In the City of Plattsburgh, property owners are required to clear the sidewalks.

But this year’s ice storms have made that a challenge. The Press-Republican reported on the issue in Monday’s paper and then asked Facebook readers what they thought of the winter-shoveling issue.

Here is a sampling of the nearly 70 responses we received:

Daryl Perkins: “I normally shovel my lengthy sidewalk every winter. And it’s always kept up with. Except for this year!! With the amount of ice we had, it is nearly impossible to bust through it all. I have already broken a brand new shovel just making a path for the mailman. I think when we have ice storms like this, a larger machine should do it. Take into consideration all the elderly folks out there that have no one to help them and that would be too much of a task to have them out there trying to bust through 4 inches of ice.”

Andy Bordeau: “I think if city cops were on foot patrol, something might be done.”

Theresa Goheens: “If the city puts it on the sidewalks from plowing they need to remove it.”

Chad Baker: “It’s funny that in one breath people are complaining that they pay too much in taxes and in the next say that it’s the city that should spend the money to clear sidewalks. Where do you think this money to pay these people and purchase the equipment to complete this task are going to come from? They aren’t going to re-allocate funds from some other project or take it from where it has already been set to be used: these are against the law.”

Phillip Malcomb: “Ask the mail carriers who have to traverse each and every mile of our sidewalks. I’m sure they have a laundry list of lazy property owners!”

Lise Davidson: “I think the home owners who are saying the city (should plow) are the ones who have not cleared their sidewalks. I have heard complaints about lack of salt and we got a lot of ice. Well, I had the same amount of ice and the same trouble finding salt. I put down sand. We had a few nice warm days following the ice storm. I put down what was left of my salt and then started chopping. They make tools for just this activity. They are called ice choppers. It took going out a few times a day (I got tired and sore) and about 2-3 days. I was able to get rid of all the ice both on my sidewalk and driveway. I also paid someone to do the initial cleanup. I also have a child who attends the Middle School. South Catherine St. was absolutely ridiculous! There was no way she was going to walk home from school. That street is dangerous to walk in the road and the sidewalks were impassable. ... Is it going to have to take a child being killed because they have to walk in the road to get to and from school??”

Brenna Miller: “Whoever’s (responsibility it is), shame on them! In the recent weeks as ice and snow has piled, people are pushing strollers and students walking in the streets because they couldn’t access the sidewalk. Terrible.”

Jeremy Bleaux: “How much do you guys think the taxes are going to go up after you have the city employees clean your sidewalks. The problem with society is they are so lazy. Get off your butts and shovel your sidewalks.”

Brenna Miller: “We live in an area where we have blizzards EVERY year. Shouldn’t this be figured out already???”

Heather Wolfe Thibault: “When the property owner has already cleared their sidewalk, but the plow then plows up a 4-foot bank of solid ice onto the cleared sidewalk, it can be very difficult to re-clear. After going through several shovels and several bags of salt, the sidewalk is still not completely clear again. During times of ice storms and low, non-melting temps, sometimes allowances have to be made. (I greatly appreciate the plows & drivers; they do a marvelous and important job! The ice is better off on the sidewalks than in the road, and sometimes those are the only choices.)”

Vicki Moore: “Taxes are extreme here. Give someone a job and put tax money to something useful. Problem solved. No one would then have to make up excuses except for the city.”

Tricia Mihal: “We use to own a home located on a corner, we always cleared it. I would have been embarrassed to not have it done. We had a such great stretch of warm weather, all sidewalks should be cleared by now. As for the seniors or disabled, maybe a program could be set up to have individuals who are required to perform court ordered community service shovel those sidewalks.”

Kathy Diedrich Baumgarten: “Homeowners and landlords should do it. If they don’t, the city shouldn’t do it for them; that will raise taxes. They should just fine them every time and add that to their property taxes.”

Craig Rock: “It is the homeowner’s responsibility... always has been. It is part of living in the city. If you don’t like it maybe you you move outside the city limits.”

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The Press-Republican takes a stand on the issue in today's Viewpoint.

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