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Freeport to get tough on snow and ice removal

| Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Freeport Borough will strictly enforce its snow-and-ice-removal ordinance from now on.

Mayor James Swartz Jr. said he asked the police to ensure that all sidewalks in the borough are cleaned.

If not, residents can be fined, as well as charged for the cost of having borough employees clean the sidewalk.

“Most are pretty good,” Swartz said. “But you've got that certain few.”

The borough is working to approve an updated version of the nearly 50-year-old snow-removal ordinance.

The current ordinance fines residents $5 for the first offense and $10 for the second offense.

The new version, which council says will be easier to understand, should be passed by March.

It states that residents will be charged $100 a day if the snow is not removed within 24 hours of the last snowfall, and there will be an additional cost for snow removal done by the borough. The fines will not total more than $1,000.

If snow is removed in 24 hours, residents will only pay a $50 fine within one week, instead of $100.

It will be enforced by the police department.

If the snow is not removed in seven days, the police will issue a citation.

The borough is looking into reworking a grass-cutting ordinance in the same manner.

In other action

• Council is looking into hiring new part-time officers. The current part-time officers don't have enough hours available for the borough.

“They're moving on to bigger and better things,” Councilman Thomas Swisher said. “Can't blame them.”

Chief Jeffrey S. Swiklinski said he needs two or three months to train each officer, so interviews will begin immediately for new candidates.

• The borough has solicited bids for paving Third and Fourth streets as well as bids for paving Third, Fourth and Stewart streets.

The bids will be opened at 2 p.m. Feb. 4 before the regular council meeting.

Kate Wilcox is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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