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When Homeowners Can't Clear Sidewalks, The City Should

With snowy sidewalks once again a concern, we need to be aware of Buffalo’s City Code, S413-51, which states that “Upon the neglect or refusal of any owner or occupant” to remove snow from sidewalks, the City “shall employ men to clean such walks…” The owner is to be billed for actual expenses. Here’s a law that’s already on the books, with built-in funding, that simultaneously clears all sidewalks and cuts unemployment. What will it take to enforce it?

As a city homeowner, I’d like to see this happen, especially as an alternative to fines. As it is now, if I get sick, I either shovel sick, hustle for a replacement, or force my neighbors to walk in the street. With S413-51 I could simply recuperate and pay a fair price for the service. Also, with thousands of unshoveled properties, the City could bring expenses down, e.g. with mechanized equipment.

> Christopher Nicolai, Buffalo

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