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Hagerstown residents required to remove snow

December 09, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- City residents are responsible for clearing sidewalks after snow and ice events in the winter -- a responsibility that is really a public safety issue, said John Lestitian, chief code compliance officer for the City of Hagerstown.

The city's policy regarding removal of snow from sidewalks was reviewed Tuesday during a Hagerstown City Council meeting.

City code inspectors are sent out to monitor whether people clear their sidewalks within an appropriate amount of time after precipitation stops.

According to city policy, sidewalks within the city's business district should be clear within four hours of a storm subsiding. In all other areas of the city, people have 10 hours to clear the sidewalks.

Inspectors leave notices if they find sidewalks are not clear, and return to see if they have been cleared.

If property owners don't comply with the second notice, a city contractor must be sent out to clear the sidewalks. The minimum charge for this is $70, Lestitian said.


"We, as administrators of the code, need to employ common sense," Lestitian said.

In addition to the four-hour and 10-hour timelines, other factors are taken into account.

The city looks at the type of precipitation and whether more snow or ice is forecast, he said.

But the city will deploy inspectors, he said.

People should plan in advance how they will take care of accumulated ice or snow, Lestitian said.

"It's the right thing to do, and will lessen the likelihood of someone being injured," he said.

If you need help

If you are unable physically or financially to maintain your sidewalk, contact Cindy Blackstock, city community development coordinator, at 301-766-4055 for assistance.

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