City seeks clear pathwaysWalking around the city is proving difficult this year. It’s leaving city officials frustrated.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Walking around the city is proving difficult this year.
It’s leaving city officials frustrated.
After all city ordinances are clear that property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to their property. That includes property owners who lease or rent the space to another. Irrespective of arrangements with tenants, the property owner is ultimately responsible. Placing that snow on public streets, alleys and sidewalks or adjacent properties is not only unacceptable — it’s illegal.
Now well beyond the 48 hours following last week’s storm allowed, the city code compliance officer is busy documenting the city’s trouble area — areas like the corners at Belknap Street and Banks Avenue where the simple act of crossing the street requires a climb over mounds of snow, something that’s not an option for people suffering mobility limitations.
Hollywood-style sidewalks, with no grassy boulevard between the sidewalk and curb are exempt from snow-removal requirements, but anyone who clears those sidewalks is required to adhere to rules about keeping snow off public right of ways.
It’s been a real problem this year, said Port and Planning Director Jason Serck.
Whether pedestrians are being forced to the street, or people are leaving snow on public rights of way or another’s property, Serck said it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
And it’s one the city is going to address at property owners’ expense.
If the city must have the snow removed, the property owner will be billed the cost of removal. Prices vary. It could cost a property owner $25 or more per hour for the city to have someone shovel a sidewalk in front of your home. However, if heavy equipment is needed to remove the snow, those costs could rise to $90 per hour. Plus the property owner will pay a $150 administration fee in addition to the cost of snow removal.
The law applies to residential and commercial properties equally.
Just ignoring the bill isn’t an option; the city will place the assessment on the property tax bill.
To report a problem property, call 715-395-7288. The more specific the information reported is — an address is ideal — the sooner the issue can be addressed and resolved.