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Sidewalk clearing efforts in Kitchener not going unnoticed: councillor

City councillors are fielding complaints that despite their best efforts, residents are being fined under a snow shovelling by-law
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Residents in Kitchener, your sidewalk shovelling efforts are being noticed, despite any fines you receive from by-law officials.

The city by-law requires residents to clear any snow or ice from sidewalks around your own property within 24 hours of a snowfall.

If the efforts aren't to the liking of by-law officials coming around to inspect, the city will leave a one-time notice and return in 24 hours.  

"If the sidewalk has still not been adequately cleared, the city will clear it and the property owner will be invoice approximately $400," reads the City of Kitchener website, "The amount depends on the size of your lot and how long it takes the contractor to remove it."

Kitchener city councillor Dave Schneider said they took this proactive approach to target those who aren't going out to shovel, after numerous accessibility-related complaints from residents.

He knows it's a work in progress, noting that complaints are now revolving around people doing the work, but missing a patch of ice.

"There's certain problem areas in the city, I totally agree," he said, "Yes, let's get the city on those, where there's not much of a boulevard for somebody to be put on.  When the plow goes by, there's got to be some more thinking, more planning on that."

He said he sees the work, going as far as saying "I salute our residents."

"I see a lot of resident pride in trying to keep their sidewalks clear," he says, "Of course, not everybody does it, but that's what we're working on."

He said they'll look at the initiative again in the springtime, and see if they can make improvements.

Schneider understands there are those who can't actually clear snow because of mobility issues.  The city suggests there are a couple numbers you can call for assistance, like the Community Support Connections/Meals & Wheels & More at 519-772-8787 or The Working Centre at 519-743-1151.

You're also encouraged to ask a neighbour for help, hire a private contractor or contact a local high school to have students help out in exchange for volunteer hours.

Schneider also points out a grant application for a neighbourhood snowblower.

"If you can get three other neighbours together, four of you (in total), you come together and the city will give you a $500 grant to buy a snowblower," he said.

"You share the cost of the snowblower, and the gas and all that.  You do your sidewalks, you do a few more, you look after it and away you go."

More details on snow removal can be found HERE.

And if all that doesn't help, there's always the #ShovelMyHood initiative, a recent grassroots initiative put forth by residents.




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