Several city residents complained last month about bills they received for snow removal.
But, a city ordinance that requires property owners and businesses to clear sidewalks in front of and adjoining their homes or else pay a fee for the city to clear them will stay in place.
After a short discussion during City Council’s ordinance committee meeting Tuesday night, councilmembers decided the ordinance will remain in place.
City crews step in for residents who do not clear pathways of snow within 24 hours of the snow event, and are billed for the work. The city cannot charge any less than one hour of time, and the bill factors in an employee’s hourly wage, benefits, equipment use and administrative cost.
Several residents received bills for $80 after city crews cleared pathways after a February snow event. Some residents were upset with the price tag; in at least one case, the $80 fee came despite less than one minute of work.
Early in the winter season, the city notified residents with notices included in their water bills that enforcement would be stricter this season than in the past. The decision was based on a survey in which 72 percent of those responded agreed the policy should remain in place.
Councilmember Stephen Uebbing said the notification was inadequate, noting that more than 200 bills were sent out overall.