For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2019
End of Snow Event and City of Plattsburgh Snow and Ice Removal Procedures for Roads and Sidewalks
Plattsburgh, NY – It’s that time of year again when snow or ice events occur in the City of Plattsburgh. Residents share in their respective duties to clear the streets and sidewalks to allow pedestrian and vehicular access so that emergency vehicles can take care of the needs of our residents.
A snow or ice event includes snow, sleet, frozen rain, blowing snow, hail or other precipitation—as publically declared by a designated city official. The City’s activation of the parking-ban lights is based on street conditions and will presumably, but not in all cases, provide additional public notice of a snow or ice event. Total accumulation is a factor, but the City also takes into account the amount of snow already on the street prior to the storm, and whether another storm is forecast in close proximity to a snow event. The City’s primary concern is safe passage on streets and sidewalks, as well as parking needs in neighborhoods with limited off-street parking.
Owners of property that borders a sidewalk are responsible for removing snow/ice within 24 hours of the end of the snow event, as announced on the City website. This past snow event ended at noon today, February 13, 2019.
The City is responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks which abut City owner property. Also, if, as a result of plowing the street, there is more than 12 inches of snow piled up on a sidewalk that has no median between the walkway and the street, the City is responsible for removing that snow. However, the owner will remain responsible for maintenance after removal. If unable to remove snow/ice with hand operated device, please make sure the sidewalk is covered by a substance to prevent slippery conditions.
In rental properties, the property owner is ultimately responsible for snow removal.
If the snow has not been removed within 24 hours of public notice of the end of the snow emergency, City employees will remove the snow at the expense of the property owner, and a removal fee will be imposed. Once a snowfall or a snow emergency ends, city code 233-32 gives property owners 24 hours to clear the width of their sidewalks so that all sidewalk users can safely navigate the city. In addition to the removal fee, a property owner may also receive a fine for a violation of the City Code.
Mike Brodi, Public Works Superintendent would like to remind folks to heed the parking ban signal lights and check the website for an emergency alert notification of a parking ban is in effect and remove cars from city streets. “When the lights are on, the cars should be gone.”
In early 2017, the Common Council took a fresh look at the City Code and reaffirmed much of the past City Code, but wanted to ensure it placed an onus on those best able to clear sidewalks in such emergencies, without placing an undue burden on the infirmed. The police and code enforcement departments have been working together to identify those properties that consistently fail to do their part in keeping sidewalks clear for residents and especially the disabled who have a hard time navigating in snow. The committee has also looked at the benefits and costs of other ways to maintain the city’s streets and sidewalks.
The revised Code also establishes a waiver and appeal process so that if a removal fee or fine is imposed, and a resident feels the removal fee or fine was imposed in error, they may pursue an appeal process. The revised Code created a waiver appeal for any fees levied on an owner who is disabled or infirmed. That is, if an owner disputes a removal fee or violation because of age, infirmity, disability, they may send a written appeal to the Public Safety Committee of the Common Council. This appeal form is available from the Building Inspectors office or can be accessed from the city website.
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