Fairfield to issue $17,000 in bills to homeowners for unshoveled sidewalks
Published 12:00 am, Friday, April 21, 2017
FAIRFIELD — Property owners who didn’t shovel the sidewalk in front of their homes, but found the sidewalks cleared anyway after a March 16 snowstorm, should expect to receive a bill in the mail.
The town hired contractors to clear the sidewalks of snow and ice from in front of close to 100 homes after the mid-March snow, with costs totaling $17,080. A town ordinance requires that sidewalks be cleared within 24 hours after a storm’s end. If not removed, the town will pay to have the snow and ice removed, and bill the property owner. If the bill is not paid, a lien will be placed on the property. The owner is also subject to a $99 fine.
Two private contractors, Green Giant and Connecticut Tank Removal, were hired in March to clear sidewalks all around town, mostly on school routes, or near busy pedestrian intersections.
”Converting this information into bills to go out to individual property owners is time consuming, and they have not gone out yet,” Public Works Director Michelangelo.
While the sidewalk ordinance has been in place for some time, the town began cracking down on violators in the wake of an accident in February 2015. In that incident, a 17-year-old Fairfield Ludlowe High School student sustained a broken hip after she was struck by a car while walking to school. According to police, the student was forced to walk in the street because the homeowner on Mill Plain Road, who was later fined, did not clear the sidewalk.
Fairfield’s Snow Removal Policy
Sidewalks - Per Town ordinance, Fairfield property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from the sidewalk along their property line within 24 hours after the storm and keeping the sidewalk clear of snow and ice. Heavily used sidewalks near schools and public buildings, and the commercial areas are particularly important. Property owners may be fined and/or charged the cost of removal if the property owners do not comply. Please remember to shovel around fire hydrants.
Residents who feel they have a legitimate complaint should call the Town Garage at 203-256-3177.
Now, police officers, as well as the town’s marina manager, are on the lookout, particularly in school areas, for uncleared sidewalks.
Based on the invoices submitted by the contractors, quite a few residents on the Old Post Road didn’t get out and shovel, while 25 property owners on Black Rock Turnpike — all residential properties — had their sidewalks cleared by town contractors. On Mill Plain Road, that number was 16, while a dozen private properties on Stillson Road had to be cleared.
There were a few commercial properties mixed in, including a building on Stillson Road owned by AT&T, and an office building at 427 Stillson Road.
Knapps Highway, which would include students walking to both Fairfield Warde High School and McKinley Elementary School, had 13 properties with uncleared sidewalks. That includes the stretch of sidewalks fronting a condominium complex at 302-384 Knapps Highway. The invoices also showed sidewalks had to be cleared in front of Pequot Mews, a small condo complex in the Southport section of town.
Other sidewalks on High Street, Rakoczy Avenue, Woodcrest, Wilton Road, Oldfield Road, Kings Highway, Pepperbush Lane, Main Street, and Center Street, had to be cleared by the private contractors due to the property owner’s negligence.