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October 01, 2006

The issue: The Chambersburg Borough Council needed to decide what to do about borough residents who failed to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours after a snowstorm.

What happened: The council adopted a new snow and ice removal policy last week. Systematic sidewalk inspections will be conducted by borough employees, beginning 24 hours after a snowstorm has ended. Under the previous policy, the borough warned and then ticketed property owners based on complaints received by the borough or observations by municipal employees.

The penalties: Beginning with the first snow, those who have not cleared their sidewalks will have a "brightly colored violation notice" posted on the door of the residence or business. If the sidewalk has not been shoveled or de-iced by the following day, a $50 ticket will be issued. If a ticket goes unpaid, a citation will be issued to the responsible party.

Those who are ticketed after the second snow will, in addition to the fine, have their sidewalks cleared by a person or company contracted by the borough. That cost, along with a 15 percent service charge, will be billed to the responsible property owner or tenant. If that bill is not paid, a municipal lien may be placed against the property.

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