Morton: Some Choose Not To Shovel Sidewalks
Archbold Village Council members talked, but came to no conclusions, about requiring people to shovel snow from village sidewalks.
Kevin Morton, councilman, brought up the topic, saying there are homeowners who can but "choose not to" shovel the snow from the sidewalks in front of their homes.
Morton said Jennifer Kidder, Archbold Parks and Recreation director, told him snow was plowed from the sidewalks in Ruihley and Memorial parks first, to make it easier for children to get to school.
Kevin Eicher, councilman, said that at the intersection of North Defiance Street and West Barre Road, snow had been piled about two feet deep by plows, but there are childsized footprints and bicycle tracks through the pile.
Morton said he was concerned about snow-covered sidewalks and "the little guy, just going to school.
"What can we do to take care of the sidewalks?" he asked.
Dennis Howell, village administrator, said the City of Tiffin has a snow removal ordinance.
There was a civil suit, which went all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. Howell said the court ruled that a property owner "has no common law responsibility to remove naturally occurring snow and ice."
Howell said Martin Schmidt, Archbold police chief, had researched state and local laws and found nothing about requiring snow removal.
Howell said the village removes snow from designated bike paths in the village. One such path runs along the east side of South Defiance St.
Laurie Storrer, clerk of council, suggested that Archbold police officers make personal visits to homeowners who do not shovel their walks, encouraging them to do so.
But Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, said during times of heavy snow, the police have their hands full getting owners of motor vehicles to move their autos off the streets so the snow plows can do their work.
It was also suggested the village street department workers shovel open sidewalks at intersections where the plows have piled snow, but Howell pointed out the street department is already short one employee, and the remaining workers "have a pretty full plate."
"I'd hate to see them start doing that," said Kenny Cowell, councilman.
It was noted that some citizens use their own personal snow blowers and other equipment to plow a block, or even several blocks, of snow.
Those Who Won't
Morton said for him, "The most frustrating thing is those who won't do it (shovel their sidewalks); those who are perfectly capable, and just won't just go out and do it."
"It's a tough problem," Howell said.
"People who are able should just go out and do it," Morton said.- David Pugh