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Geneva enacts stricter penalties for failing to shovel sidewalks

Andrew Hyman
Updated: November 14, 2019 06:00 AM
Created: November 13, 2019 11:32 PM

GENEVA N.Y. (WHEC) — As the snow starts to fall, neighbors and business owners in the City of Geneva are facing a tighter window to get all that snow cleared off the sidewalks, or they could face a steep penalty.

It’s part of a new ordinance the city added for the 2019-20 winter season, which was first introduced back in October. According to the city, the motion was approved by the city council after several resident complaints about snow build up on the sidewalks.

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News10NBC spoke to Bethany Haswell who owns “Stomping Grounds," a vintage bookstore. 

"[The ordinance] is great for the kids who are trying to walk to school to be able to use the sidewalk,” Haswell said, “I think it's great for my customers who are trying to enter my store."

According to the ordinance, the snow must be cleared off sidewalks within 24 hours after the snow falls. For businesses or parking lots, the snow and ice need to be out of there between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

If you don't comply, it'll cost you. 

Per previous rules, the city says it will have someone clear out for you but, on your dime. If you do not pay up within 30 days, the city can put a penalty on your property tax.

Some neighbors and another business owner we spoke to agree with Haswell. Though, there was some backlash. On the city’s initial post about the ordinance, there were complaints about how the crackdown could impact people with disabilities or the elderly.

In response, the city called on neighbors to lend a hand to one another.

Haswell hopes the ordinance just keeps everyone accountable.

“You do what you can," she said.

News10NBC reached out to the Department of Public Works and the city's assistant manager but have not heard back.

As for enforcement, the city does offer a tool for people to report any violations they see.


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