City adds fee to snow and ice removal cost

Administrative fee kicks in on second offense
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City staff this week identified 88 locations around Shawano where residents had failed to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice.

Warnings were issued, but property owners will end up bearing the cost if the city has to send a contractor out to clear the sidewalk for them.

In addition, the Common Council on Wednesday approved adding an administrative fee to cover the cost of locating uncleared sidewalks, issuing warnings and processing other paperwork to go along with that.

Under the new rules, property owners will be charged the actual cost of snow and ice removal the first time a sidewalk remains uncleared. Each time it happens again, however, property owners will also be charged a $25 administrative fee.

The same rules will apply during the non-winter months for lawns are that are not mowed.

Prior to the change, the city charged a $50 flat rate the first time a contractor was brought in to clear a sidewalk or mow a lawn and $75 for each occurrence after that.

City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said that has caused confusion in the past, because the cost of clearing a sidewalk varies and can range from physically having to shovel an entire sidewalk to spreading sand or salt on icy stretches.

Snow and ice has to be cleared from the entire width of the sidewalk within 24 hours of a snowfall, under the city codes, but the city does offer some wiggle room.

“We will work with people if they have issues,” Police Chief Dan Mauel said, “and we also encourage neighbors to assist neighbors that can’t possibly do it.”

Zoning Administrator and Building Inspector Brian Bunke said there were some exceptions made to the rules after the most recent snow and rain event in the city.

“If people made the attempt and there were just little icy spots from water runoff, we didn’t concentrate on those,” he said. “We did strictly the ones that didn’t do any shoveling or make any attempt to clear their sidewalks.”

He also said the warnings issued gave property owners 48 hours to clear their sidewalks rather than the usual 24 because water runoff was expected from the warmer weather that followed the storm.

Bunke said the city will work with those who have extenuating circumstances making it difficult to get their sidewalks cleared.

He also said residents and property owners are more likely to follow the rules after the first time they’ve been charged for snow and ice removal.

“Once people get one bill, you get a huge turnaround of those people that don’t leave it lay,” he said. “They get it taken care of one way or another.”

FYI

The city has free salt and sand available to help residents deal with icy sidewalks. Salt/sand piles can be found at the following locations within the city:

• West Second Street near the Sheriff’s Department.

• East Elizabeth Street near the Skate Park.

• West Richmond Street at Sturgeon Park.

You will need to bring your own shovel and container.