Not Shoveling Snow Could Cost Ithaca Residents

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Residents in the City of Ithaca could be fined $50 or more if they do not clear their sidewalks after snow storms.

The law has been on the books for over ten years, but it’s getting new attention thanks to recent snowfall.

Julie Conley Holcomb, the City Clerk said the city hired a new crew last year to help with street construction but during the winter they will be assisting with sidewalk snow removal.

She wants property owners to remember that the law requires they clear snow from the sidewalks adjacent to their property within twenty four hours of the start of a snow storm. If they do not and the city ends up clearing the snow owners will be fined.

Holcomb also acknowledged that it can be hard or impossible for some people to get out and clear the snow. She said the law still applies to them but there are ways for them to get help.

bodellia/flickr

bodellia/flickr

“There’s a lot of neighbors that take care of each other,” Holcomb said. “I know that there are blocks where they’ve either jointly purchased or one resident has purchased a snow blower and he does the whole block for people. So, there’s a lot of community good will out there and there are also services out there to help people.”

One of the services available is through the Tompkins County Office for the Aging, which keeps a list of people willing to clear snow from sidewalks. Some are volunteers, while others do it for a fee.

Holcomb also said Ithaca faces so special challenges when it comes to sidewalk snow removal because there are so many college students.

“We have a lot of rental property in our housing stock,” she added. “And it’s hard to get this information to all of the new tenants that come in that they’re responsible, they may be responsible for shoveling the sidewalks.”

She said renters should check their leases so they know if they are the one responsible for clearing their sidewalk.