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It’s The Law: Clean Up Your Sidewalks After Snow

1-22-14 snow dig10

Potential fines await township residents who do not clear their sidewalks of snow within 12 hours of a storm.

“Several” summonses for not obeying the township’s law regarding sidewalk cleanups after snow storms have been handed out by police since the Valentine’s Day weekend storms, a police spokesman said.

Several storms spanning from Feb. 12 to Feb. 18 dumped as much as 20 inches of snow on Franklin Township, according to the New Jersey State Climatologist. The township’s ordinance covering snow removal from sidewalks – Chapter 333-38 – states that snow and ice must be removed within “12 hours of daylight” after a snow storm. In the event the ice or snow can’t be removed, the area must be covered by salt, sand, ashes or sawdust.

Franklin Township Police Sgt. Philip Rizzo said officers have handed out a number of warnings to residents who did not comply with the ordinance.

“We have issued warnings to people about the ordinance in response to citizen complaints. (They have not been officer initiated calls, each warning was issued in response to complaint by a citizen,)” Rizzo said in an email. “It is a safety issue if pedestrians are forced to walk in the street due to an icy/snow covered sidewalk, especially kids attempting to get to the bus stops.”

“The majority of the time the warning has sufficed and the walkway is cleared,” he said in the email. “There have been several summonses issued this winter to homeowners that did not clear the snow/ice from the sidewalk even after being warned. The primary concern is keeping our motorists and pedestrians safe during the less than ideal conditions of this winter.”

Violators of the ordinance are subject to fines ranging from $100 to $2,000, imprisonment up to 90 days or public service of up to 90 days, according to the township Code.

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