Sixth time a charm?
|By Andy Balaskovitz|
New details about a draft snow and ice removal ordinance revealed WednesdayThough Lansing officials are taking a week to mull over the latest version of a snow and ice removal ordinance, one proponent of the original draft likes what she sees.
“It looks good,” Lansing City Council Vice President Kathie Dunbar said following discussion at Wednesday’s Public Services Committee on the sixth draft of a snow and ice removal ordinance.
The ordinance would allow the city to clear a property owner’s public sidewalk and bill the owner. Right now, the city can only issue tickets for not clearing sidewalks.
First Ward City Councilman Eric Hewitt, who chairs the Public Services Committee, drafted the latest version. Here’s what is new:
Hewitt said his version gives more control to the administration by allowing it as much time as it needs to inspect properties and more latitude on delivering notices. “It gives them the opportunity to operate in a more judicious way.”
The first draft was written in early February 2009. The fifth draft was written about a month later and is the one that has been sitting in Public Services Committee ever since.
Owners of foreclosed properties are perhaps the biggest violators of city requirements to clear sidewalks. At-Large Councilman Brian Jeffries suggested creating a database of foreclosed properties in the city. Having a local contact number for an out-of-state bank, he said, could make it easier to recoup fees assessed to these problem properties.
“These properties are driving the snow ordinance,” he said. “That’s why I’m bringing it forward at this time.”
(What’s wrong with the city’s existing ordinance on snow and ice removal? Click here.)