Aspinwall police ticket property owners for not shoveling sidewalks
By Tom McGee
Published: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 12:06 a.m.
Aspinwall police is sending out tickets this week to property owners for not clearing snow off of their sidewalk.
On Wednesday, 78 tickets for $25 each were issued to such property owners.
The borough requires that snow be removed within 12 hours after a snowfall, police Chief John Sabol said. Several areas in town had snow on the sidewalks on Wednesday after snows on Dec. 26 and New Year's Eve.
“They're not bad, they just need cleaned,” Sabol said.
Councilman Joe Giuffre said safety was the primary reason for enforcing the snow removal ordinance.
“We do have a lot of people that still walk the town,” Giuffre said. “They have to go to the stores, go to the bus stop, younger kids going to school.”
Giuffre said he was unaware of any recent accidents because of snow-covered sidewalks.
“Fortunately, we haven't heard of any accidents yet,” Giuffre said. “But it only takes one — and then you're sorry that it happened.”
Borough ordinances don't indicate a specific amount of snow that is accumulated before tickets can be issued, Giuffre said. The snow that remains on sidewalks has likely been there for several days, he said.
“There's no set amount,” Giuffre said. “Your sidewalk is covered, you're expected to come out and maintain it.”
Some of the properties cited on Wednesday are rental units.
The responsibility for clearing those sidewalks must be determined by the landlord and tenant in their rental agreement, but the ticket is sent to the property owner, Giuffre said.
“Some of the landlords have in their agreement that the tenant should be doing it, others do not,” Giuffre said.
For people who can't remove their own snow, Giuffre suggested looking to their neighbors for help.
“I'm sure they can find someone if they need to,” Giuffre said. “The sidewalks aren't that big, the areas that they're doing.
“Hopefully, people just take heed and start to take care of those.”
Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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