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Archive for Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Town Talk: City says snow shoveling ordinance to be enforced; Lawrence ICL plant to expand; Special Olympics bid faces stiff competition

December 8, 2010

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News and notes from around town:

• With some weather forecasters predicting a chance of snow showers this weekend, City Hall leaders are reminding Lawrence residents to get their snow shovels in gear.

City officials are trying to put out a warning that they will be serious about enforcing the city’s sidewalk snow removal ordinance. The ordinance requires property owners to clear public sidewalks adjacent to their property of snow and ice within 48 hours of a winter storm. The city measures the 48-hour period from the time snow stops falling during a storm. Shoveling is the preferred method to clear a sidewalk, but the ordinance does make provisions for people to spread sand on icy areas that are difficult to clear.

The city won’t necessarily act as snow shoveling cops by driving through neighborhoods looking for violations. Instead, they’ll respond to complaints from residents. But city inspectors have been known to issue tickets to neighboring properties where a complaint has been filed. In other words, if somebody calls in a complaint about one address and the inspector gets to the scene and realizes nobody on the street has cleared their sidewalks, then multiple tickets may be issued.

People can call in a complaint at 832-7700 or they can submit one online here.

Fines of $20 per day can be assessed for violating the ordinance, plus violators must pay Municipal Court costs. Those costs run $52.

Last year the ordinance — remember, we had 43 inches of snow — created quite a stir. The city issued more than 700 tickets during the season.

City leaders also are reminding people that the snow shoveling ordinance creates a need for volunteers for the Safe Winter Walkways Program. The program signs up healthy individuals to shovel sidewalks for the elderly and others who can not do so on their own. You can sign up to volunteer, here.

• North Lawrence’s ICL Performance Products plant will undergo an expansion, the company announced today.

According to a press release, the company will build a new Sodium Hexametaphosphate plant at the Lawrence facility, 440 N. Ninth. The new plant — expected to be completed by late 2011 — will help the company meet growing demand in the food additives, beverage and water treatment chemical markets.

No word yet, though, on how large of an investment the new plant will be, or whether it will add new jobs at the plant. Check back for more details.

• It is clear now which cities Lawrence is competing against to host the 2014 Special Olympic Games. Both Princeton, N.J., and Boston are being considered to host the games, which are expected to bring more than 3,000 athletes to the host community. Lawrence has submitted a formal bid for the games, but Special Olympic officials have not yet committed to make a site visit to the city. Both Boston and Princeton have received site visits. There’s word in some circles that the Shriver family — which was extremely influential in founding the Special Olympics — has come out in support of the two northeastern cities.

What town talk are you hearing? Send me a tip at clawhorn@ljworld.com.

Comments

YouPeopleAreCrazy 4 years ago

Don't worry everyone, Eride is on the case!

BaldwinDad 4 years ago

Remember they are doing this to keep you safe....it has nothing to do with collecting almost a $100 in fines from the already cash strapped citizens.

Caesar_Augustus 4 years ago

Damn straight. I'm going a step further and am going to shovel snow into the bed of my truck and then deposit it at people's houses who have already shovelled their snow.

Then take a picture and call the cops on them.

pal00kaville 4 years ago

Sarcasm or not, this raises a few valid concerns. What about the elderly? The disabled? It's not all laziness. One would hope volunteers, or even enterprising persons would mitigate against these problems, but if a person isn't even able to answer the door, then what?

bearded_gnome 4 years ago

to have snow-covered sidewalk enforcement as only complaint driven is very bad, and open to all kinds of revenge, uneven enforcement, etc.

the city already has crews cruising with snow and ice, maybe they notify the citers? or maybe the citers just drive in a systematic way and find the bad spots that need clearing, cite tem? much better.

City officials are trying to put out a warning that they will be serious about enforcing the city’s sidewalk snow removal ordinance. The ordinance requires property owners to clear public sidewalks adjacent to their property of snow and ice within 48 hours of a winter storm. The city measures the 48-hour period from the time snow stops falling during a storm. Shoveling is the preferred method to clear a sidewalk, but the ordinance does make provisions for people to spread sand on icy areas that are difficult to clear.

---okay, does this apply to city of lawrence sidewalks such as at parks??? ... [sound of crickets] ...


cool that ICL is going to expand. why doesn't the blog/article note any job impact? this mean more jobs making the sodium hexametaphosphocrapitodioxidesludge?

and, your article could've been a little more informative: what exactly is sodium metamethylhexapseudotrioxidesludge ... anyway?
any hazmat risk with it?

and the big question: *how will this expansion impact the "dirty bird?" lol

Chad Lawhorn 4 years ago

In terms of an update . . . As we noted in the article, information on the number of new jobs that may be produced because of the expansion wasn't available. We've checked with the company, but they are awaiting permission from their corporate headquarters — in Israel — to release further information to the media. When I get the information, I'll report on it. It likely will not be today though.

Clark Coan 4 years ago

I wish they would ACTIVELY enforce it downtown. That is send inspectors around 48 hours after the snowfall and cite those business owners who haven't removed the snow. It is a real hazard downtown when it glazes over. People with ambulatory or visual disabilities have great difficulty using the downtown sidewalks.

Brandon Devlin 4 years ago

So, logically, when the city snow plow drives down my street and and uses my driveway to deposit two feet of snow and ice from the street as he makes the turn, shouldn't I be able to issue them a ticket for creating a hazardous condition?

Ladybug2 4 years ago

My husband and I are neither one able to clear sidewalks. He is 70 and I have a leg injury. We have a very long sidewalk that the city throws ice and snow on making it a very difficult job anyway. We can't even find someone to hire to remove the snow. I've called several places listed in the phone book but they only do commercial. I've called the City and they don't have any ideas. I called the Senior Citizens organization and still have nothing. I don't know what the elderly are supposed to do. Does anyone have any suggestions? We hate to sell our home and move to one without a sidewalk just because of this ordinance.

Lisa Rasor 4 years ago

Contact Douglas County Senior Services at 842-0543 and let them know you are in need of help shoveling snow. They'll put you in the Safe Winter Walkways Program.

bearded_gnome 4 years ago

(Chad Lawhorn) replies …

In terms of an update . . . As we noted in the article, information on the number of new jobs that may be produced because of the expansion wasn't available. We've checked with the company, but they are awaiting permission from their corporate headquarters — in Israel — to release further information to the media. When I get the information, I'll report on it. It likely will not be today though.

---okay Chad. the other info I asked about would be cool too.

spacemonkey 4 years ago

The reason for this is to keep you safe, however i find that when i run in the winter i would rather run on the snow then sidewalks cleared of snow because the sidewalks that are cleared have ice on them or develop ice on them. So when snow is on them I can be less careful about where I step.

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