I had written last week that a new snow shoveling by-law had been deferred due to some wording. Apparently I was wrong and was duly corrected. In my defence, I wasn’t at the meeting due to illness and received the info second hand. Anyways, here is the corrected tale, with some repetition since you just can’t tell some people things often enough:
Starting this very snow season, every owner of a building in Thorold is to clear the sidewalks abutting their property. If you live on a corner lot, that means both sidewalks and, if your building takes up your whole block, you’ll be clearing for awhile. And it must be done within twenty-four (24) hours of a storm or series of consecutive storms (how close together is consecutive?).
Now, you may have thought that you were already supposed to do that and that’s because, when the by-law was repealed in 1999, no one from the City went around telling you that you didn’t have to shovel. And many of us that did know still shovelled theirs anyway.
If you have property with a roof where snow can slide off onto a sidewalk or roadway, you have to clear it so that it’s no threat. So please be careful up there on those icy roofs this winter.
As I mentioned before, the problem of the City clearing the sidewalks fronting their own properties has been solved, although you may not like how it was solved. As I said, you know that sidewalk ploughing you’ve been getting as a pilot project if you live on a bus route? Well, it’s gone. The ploughs used for that purpose will now be transported all over town to do the walks abutting City property.
There are a couple of clauses there, however, that could prove interesting. You don’t have to shovel if the snow was put there by someone else. I assume this to mean that you don’t have to clear plough ridges or the snow that you neighbour’s snow blower deposits on your half of the driveway. The catch is that it will be up to the by-laws officer to decide, so you better take pictures. The other thing is that the City itself isn’t exempt no matter who dumps the snow there. How often is a by-law tougher on the City than on the citizens?
Now, if you don’t do your duty under this by-law, the City can come in or get someone else to come in and do it for you. Sounds good? Well, no, because they’ll send you the bill.
The by-law makes no mention of ability to do the task. Instead, the City asks the people of Thorold to be good neighbours and help those that can’t do it themselves.
Although it isn’t in the by-law, Council did pass a motion that there would be no penalty for this upcoming winter season, meaning they won’t do your work for you and charge you (they probably won’t do the work and NOT charge you, either, in case your wondering). But if you think you’ll get off scot-free this winter, you’re wrong because, if you don’t do your part, you may well have someone come to your door and educate you (they mean a warning but that’s how it was explained to me).
I know it seems like a lot of work but, to those who like, or have, to walk, it would be nice to be able to get down the sidewalks again. It’s been a long time (since ’99 in fact).
Oh, yes, if you’re a legal beagle and want to see the notice and by-law just click here .