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Snow removal rule reprieve

Sturbridge gets a 9-day delay to plan

December 21, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Owners of property abutting routes 20 and 131 won't have to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks until Jan. 24, as the Board of Selectmen approved a nine-day extension to their initial enforcement date at their meeting Monday night.

The previous date on which property owners were expected to clear their sidewalks was Jan. 15, but the Board voted for the extension..

"The Board had previously voted that in supporting the change in policy, it wanted to ensure that the abutters had a minimum of 30 days advance notice in order to make the necessary arrangements relative to snow clearing," said Selectmen Chairman Thomas Creamer. "The vote this evening was to ensure consistency in terms of what had previously been adopted."

According to the town by-laws, property owners will have 24 hours after the end of a snowstorm to remove ice and snow from sidewalks. Failure to remove the snow will result in penalties imposed by the police department; the penalty for a first violation is a written warning, while subsequent offenses will result in fines established by section 9.02 of the town's general by-laws. All fine appeals and other legal actions will be addressed through the state court system,

The police department will hand deliver notifications of the enforcement to abutters within the next month, and property owners will also receive notifications via general mail. Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski spent the last week finalizing these delivery procedures with members of the police department, and he also compiled a complete list of abutters whose businesses are located on routes 20 and 131.

In addition, Suhoski also contacted officials from Tantasqua Regional High School and learned that some students are willing to assist property owners in snow removal from their sidewalks. For more information about the availability of student work, contact Nancy Sawyer, the Tantasqua School to Career Counselor, at 508-347-2837 or email her at sawyern@tantasqua.org. Fees for the shoveling work may be charged, although the school has not officially announced whether the students will work for money, community service hours, or course credits.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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