City receives over 300 complaints for uncleared sidewalks
By: Sara Wilson
| Posted: Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 01:13 pm
The City of Airdrie has issued three tickets since Jan. 1 for uncleared sidewalks and one in December 2013 under the Community Standards Bylaw.
The number of tickets might seem small compared to the number of complaints the city has received, 217 this month and 118 in December 2013, for a two-month total of 335.
According to Lynda Phelan, communications coordinator with the City, for the month of December 2012 there were 12 snow removal complaints with one ticket issued. In January 2013, there were 36 complaints for snow removal received by the City and five tickets were issued by municipal enforcement.
“2013 was a crazy snow year,” Darrel Poburan, manager of municipal enforcement said. “It was beyond (the amount of snowfall) that we get in Airdrie.
During the month of December 2013, Environment Canada recorded two-and-a-half times the amount of snow that usually falls in Airdrie.
The City declared a snow event on Dec. 2 and 3, 2013, as high winds and non-stop snowfall made driving and local roads treacherous. According to Environment Canada, nearly 20 centimetres fell during that storm.
“The roads and sidewalks were all covered. It was challenging for residents,” Poburan said.
As for the low number of tickets issued to residents, Poburan explained that municipal enforcement took a different approach this year.
“We wanted to work with the people and give them more time,” he said. “We didn’t give out as many fines, but we gave out way more warnings.”
With the warmer temperatures, and no winter snowstorms in the immediate forecast, constant melting and freezing have become an issue for residents, Poburan said.
“We’re going around to residents with Public Works and enforcing the Community Standards Bylaw,” he said. “We’re giving people 24-hours to clear the sidewalks. If people are making an effort, we probably won’t issue a ticket, but if they are ignoring the issue then we will give tickets.”
The fine for uncleared sidewalks is $500.
With the recent warmer temperatures aiding snow removal on city streets, a common issue usually seen in the spring has drivers swerving to avoid damage to their cars.
Potholes can be found on a number of streets, and according to the City, crews are working to fill in the holes.
“About 20 potholes (have been) reported and filled so far, this isn’t noticeably different than this time last year – potholes have more to do with the age of the road than with the freeze and thaw conditions,” said Mike Avramenko, team leader of Public Works.
To report a pothole or an unclear sidewalk call the Public Works department at 403-948-8415.