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Borough refunds snow fines, stands firm on removal policy

February 13, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The first four people issued $50 tickets for not clearing their sidewalks of snow got them excused Monday night by the Chambersburg Borough Council, but the policy adopted last fall for snow and ice removal remains in effect.

Last fall, the borough adopted the policy requiring all of the more than 8,000 properties in the borough to clear their sidewalks of snow or ice within 24 hours of the end of a storm. The policy called for systematic inspections by meter readers after the storm with warning notices posted at the property.

Those property owners failing to clear sidewalks within a day of receiving the notice were subject to a fine.

That policy got its first test following a Jan. 21 snowfall. Assistant Borough Manager David Finch said about 300 notices were posted, with four residents cited for failing to later clear the sidewalks.

The first enforcement generated complaints, said Finch, who asked the council members if they wished to make any changes.

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Charles McKissick said he paid his fine, but the borough was inconsistent in enforcement, missing other snow-covered sidewalks in his neighborhood.

Jay Lightfoot said some residents cannot shovel the walks and rely on others to do the job.

"People have to be able to walk where they need to go," said Councilwoman Elaine Swartz. "I believe the ordinance is reasonable."

Borough staff, however, was advised to use discretion in future snowfalls, such as the one predicted for today.

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