Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Councillor Cunningham wants action on lack of snow clearing on absentee owner properties

The ongoing blast of Arctic air and long lasting ice and snow of the last two weeks is providing for a bit of a map of sorts as to which properties in the city have owners living in town and which ones belong to speculators or absentee, out of town owners.

That was an issue which made for the last topic of conversation during Monday's City Council session, with Councillor Barry Cunningham providing some of his observations related to property owners that are not taking action to remove the ice and snow as per city bylaws.

Mr. Cunningham drew attention to a stretch of McBride at the old Dairy Queen building as his main area of focus, though adding  that it wasn't the only area of the cit of concern to him.

With the Councillor noting that it is an ongoing issue that highlights the number of out of town owners, which he referred to as absentee owners, who had not made arrangements for the removal of the snow and ice.

At Monday's council session he asked city staff to contact those owners of those properties to ensure that they take care of the problem and if need be have the city do the work and send the owners the bill, adding that he would like to see these absentee owners taken to task.

You can take the tour of the downtown with the Councillor from the City's Video Archive starting at the fifty four minute mark.

The current Snow and Ice Removal control guidelines are as follows:

The Public Works Department requests the cooperation of all owners and occupants of buildings, vacant lots or businesses in the Downtown/Cow Bay Commercial area, in the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property. Commercial owners/occupants have until 12 Noon on any day except Saturday or a statutory holiday to clear the sidewalks.

Failure to do so may result in a fine of $100 per occurrence.  If it is necessary for City Staff to do the work in the Commercial areas, you will be billed a minimum of $110.00 each time.

Councillor Cunningham does raise a major concern for the community, as some of the areas he has noted do make for an unsafe situation for pedestrians, though he might also want to contact the city's own Operations Department and have them make some rounds of those areas that may fall within jurisdiction of the city.

There are some increasingly dangerous ice berms starting to develop mostly in intersections and various crosswalk locations in the downtown area, the one between the Post Office and Ocean Centre and the crossing across McBride to the Chevron station of particular note.

That trouble spot, along with other similar areas where the roads downtown intersect with cross walks, makes for a bit of an obstacle course for pedestrians, marking areas which could use some more sand or salt, a bit of heavy duty ice chipping, or perhaps some offerings to a Deity for a quick melt to arrive in the community.

For more items related to Council discussions see our archive page here.

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