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Snow still covers two city sidewalks

February 03, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Maureen Jett's business in the 400 block of West Washington Street is next to property owned by the City of Hagerstown, along which about 1/2 inch of snow covered about 75 feet of sidewalk Monday afternoon.

Jett said she had not seen anyone clear the sidewalk since last Tuesday's snowfall, despite the snow removal ordinance the city began enforcing in December.

"I don't see where they even have the right to fine someone when they don't even take care of their own property," Jett said Monday.

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After snowstorms in December and January, a contractor for the City of Hagerstown cleared sidewalks in front of 51 properties by last Thursday. For the work, the city charged property owners a $100 administrative fee, as well as labor costs and a salt application fee. Total charges were $173 to $285 for each snow removal.

City Public Works Manager Erik Deike said the property on West Washington Street was one of two he knew of that the city had not cleared by Monday. He said he was told that a vacant lot owned by the city on Spruce Street also had not been cleared.

The Public Works Department is in charge of clearing snow and ice from sidewalks in front of all city-owned properties, except for most city parks, Deike said. The Parks and Recreation Department clears the snow from those properties.

Deike said the city's Code Compliance Office notified his office only two or three times about problems with city-managed sidewalks since officials began enforcing the snow-removal code.

Deike said that aside from the properties brought to his attention Monday, his department has been able to meet the demands of the city's snow ordinance, which requires property owners to remove snow and ice four to 10 hours after the precipitation ends, depending on where the property lies within city limits.

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