Kane sidewalk snow removal rules may change

Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

Milder spring temperatures might be coming, but the borough of Kane still is taking “heat” for  its sidewalk snow removal notices.
According to a report presented Wednesday at a meeting of the Kane Borough Council, Borough Manager Don Payne said his office in February issued 83 letters for alleged violations of the borough sidewalk snow removal ordinance.
One ordinance violation ticket was issued, he said in the report.
Under the law, residents are expected to remove snow from their sidewalks in a timely fashion. But some residents claim they can’t abide by the snow removal requirements because they’re at work.
Council President Tom Kase said the “timing” of the notices for alleged violations is creating a problem for some residents. He believes council may have to review and adjust the snow removal rules to conform with “more up-to-date lifestyles.” 
Kase pointed out that both spouses in many households in Kane are employed.
Some council members appear to be upset with Payne for issuing the letters that seek compliance with the sidewalk snow removal ordinance.
Councilman Dave Walker said many senior citizens in Kane are living on fixed incomes and can’t afford to hire someone to shovel snow.
He said the borough should be more “resident friendly.”
Walker also accused the borough manager of being “very picky” in deciding who receives the notices.
Councilwoman Shana Snyder called for the borough to “rescind” the letters, which she believes are “unfair” to residents.
“Hold off on the letters,” she said.
Snyder claims the borough is being “snippy”  in complaining about sidewalk snow removal when it fails at times to clear snow from the sidewalk at the borough building on Bayard Street.
Councilman Gary Schul agrees that the borough should “lead by example” in removing snow from its sidewalks.
In her monthly report, Mayor Brandy Schimp said she has “received various calls about snow removal on private sidewalks” in Kane.
The winter snow season might be over. However, Snyder pointed out that “Mother Nature” could “throw us a curve” and dump a “foot or a foot and a half” of snow on Kane “before spring.”
In related business, Junior Councilman Matthew Boyer, a high school student who does not vote, complained about the accumulation of snow on the Poplar Street bridge sidewalk.
He claims that students and other pedestrians walk in the street due to snow on the sidewalk.
Boyer claims the borough is failing to maintain the sidewalk.
Payne, however, disagrees. 
Speaking at the meeting via speaker phone due to illness, Payne said the sidewalk is “consistently shoveled.” He claims snowplows push snow back on the sidewalk as they remove snow from the bridge.
In other business at the 46-minute meeting at the borough building, council:
nVoted 6-0 to appoint Mary Bizzak of West Pine Avenue to the Kane Parks Commission. 
Kase, Snyder, Walker and Schul approved the appointment along with Councilwomen Linda Kerek and Melanie Clabaugh. 
Councilwoman Katie Johnson did not attend the meeting. She recently gave birth.
The Parks Commission recommended the appointment of Bizzak to the volunteer board.

For full article, check the March 14, 2019 printed or e-edition of The Kane Republican