As a potential winter storm takes aim late tonight through tomorrow evening (February 6-7), city of Cortland residents are reminded to clear their sidewalks once every 24 hours to avoid a fine by code enforcement.
The official removal policy gives city property owners until 6 p.m. the day after an event to do so.
For example, if it snows on a Monday, they would have until 6 p.m. the following Tuesday to clear their sidewalk before it’s considered a violation
During extended snow events that last several days, sidewalks are required to be cleared at least once every 24 hours.
Code officers say there will be no warnings before citations are posted on doors, as the policy isn’t new, but rather something that hasn’t been enforced the way it was originally intended.
Common Council revisited the issue at a meeting last month, where City Fire Department Captain Mike TenKate, who also serves code enforcement director, said tickets would begin to be issued more prevalently.
He also said there were a handful of properties considered “repeat offenders” of the policy.
A first offense results in a $25 ticket, with the potential of incrementally “snowballing” into a $250 ticket for five offenses or more.
Additionally, if city DPW workers are forced to clear the sidewalk themselves, the property owner at fault will be charged with the cost of shoveling and an additional $25 administrative fee.
Any unpaid fines and fees will be added to the annual property tax bills.