Brian Pugh: Keeping Sidewalks Passable This Winter

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

 

Keeping our sidewalks free of ice and snow is the neighborly thing to do, and it’s the law. In preparation for the winter season, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton selected a contractor to remove snow and ice from sidewalks for property owners that fail to clear them within 18 hours.

 

When a property owner fails to clear their sidewalk, it puts their neighbors at risk and presents a particular challenge to senior citizens and parents trying to navigate young children across a slippery sidewalk.  Further, unshoveled sidewalks undermines the efforts of all the neighbors that did clear their walks.

 

Village law has long required that sidewalks be cleared of snow and ice within 18 hours.  Historically, we’ve relied on fines to enforce this. But at times the owner would be fined, be taken to court and still fail to keep their walks clear-meaning the public still wasn’t getting the safe passage the law was meant to protect.

 

In 2016, a bipartisan majority on the Village Board adopted a local law empowering the Village to charge the property owner for the removal of the snow and ice.  As of last Monday, the Board is putting that new power to use on behalf of the community. We selected Enricco Contracting, which provided the lowest of three bids for snow removal services: $38/hour for snow shoveling, $46/hour for snow blowing, and $175/hour for using a skid steer.

 

I encourage residents to make preparations now to ensure that they are ready for winter.

 

Dozens of Croton residents have already availed themselves of “Operation Snowflake” organized by the Town of Cortlandt. Seniors can have a student from the area shovel for them.  If you are interested in this service, you should contact the community center’s Becky Ferguson at 528-8377 for questions and information.

 

To be clear, Operation Snowflake is for seniors only and a match with a student cannot be guaranteed. Which is is why it’s important for all of us to be proactive and plan for what we will do to ensure our sidewalks are clear and safe for our community before the flurries fly.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Pugh

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