Clearfield Boro Defeats Motion for Temporary Exemption of Snow Removal Ordinance

CLEARFIELD – At last night’s Clearfield Borough Meeting, James Kling, Planning and Community Development Committee chairperson, proposed a temporary exemption of the snow removal ordinance for the balance of the 2013-14 snow season.

Borough Ordinance No. 797, sections 58.31 and 58.33, require sidewalks to be cleared of snow and ice within 12 hours after a snowfall or fines will be imposed. Kling said the snow and ice deposits on curbside walkways from “government” snow plowing, such as Bigler Avenue, Woodland Road and South Second Street create a hardship for sidewalk clearing. He said this wouldn’t exempt removal of natural accumulations of ice and snow.

Councilman Tim Winters remarked that a majority of the residents and businesses find a way to get the walkways cleared. He suggested that, rather than pass a temporary ordinance, the borough could slack off on enforcement of the ordinance. He said he didn’t think the temporary ordinance would be fair, and would give people a reason to neglect the responsibility.

Code Enforcement Officer Larry Mack said he had just paid $100 for a contractor to use heavy equipment to clear his curbside walks that was too much to remove by shovel or snow blower.

Fire Chief Todd Kling pointed out that, from the point of safety, when walkways aren’t cleared, people will avoid them and walk on the roadway, creating a traffic safety issue, especially when roads are hazardous.

Kling’s proposed ordinance was defeated. Kling then referred to inconsistency in enforcement and instructed Mack that he needed to cite all who are not in compliance with the sidewalk ordinance.

Borough Operations Manager Leslie Stott reported that snow removal is becoming a problem. She said the piled snow is interfering with intersection and sign visibility.

She stressed that cars need to be moved for plowing, noting that she had even gone to residents ahead of the snow plow to ask that cars be moved. She suggested that when residents see the snow plow, they could even drive their car around the block while the plow goes through.

Stott also asked that residents please stop moving snow back onto the streets from driveways or sidewalks.

Stott reported that the street crews have been very cautious with salt, hoping they will have enough. She said American Rock Salt is no longer accepting orders.

Both Todd Kling and Police Chief Vince McGinnis warned residents against the dangers of what Kling called “ice play.” Kling stressed that Clearfield Emergency Services are not fully equipped for ice rescue. Both Kling and McGinnis advised people to stay off ice-covered water.

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