REED CITY — One approved, another tabled.
Following a lengthy discussion last Monday, the city council decided to approve an ordinance for snow removal while tabling action on designating safe sidewalk routes for students walking to school.
After approving an ordinance May 21, penalties for refusing to remove snow from sidewalks are now set at $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $300 for a third offense.
After reviewing a draft ordinance in March, some councilors felt the penalties for neglecting snow removal were too high. According to the draft, residents that neglect to remove snow could have faced a civil infraction and a fine between $200 and $500.
Councilors then discussed a proposal to establish a route system in the city students could use in the winter. Some councilors said the city should provide a service to make sure the routes are clear, and charging a fee to those that don’t.
Disagreement arose because the city charter says it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove snow, City Manager Ron Howell said.
However, if the city approves the routes, there should be a way to make sure they reliably stay clear, which would mean hiring additional personnel or a third party to clear snow. But because the city charter says all sidewalks have to be clear, the city would have to provide that service to all paths.
“And we don’t have funds to pay for clearing the entire city,” Howell said.
That would mean having to raise revenue in taxes or in fees.
The city council decided to put off the issue and will discuss it further at future meetings.