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Helper city police issue snow removal citations

Sun Advocate reporter

Piles of snow continue to block the sidewalks in front of numerous homes in Helper. The police department recently issued a batch of citations to local residents who have failed to remove the snow from sidewalks adjoining private properties, a violation of a city ordinance. According to the department, the snow makes winter walking dangerous for pedestrians and children, often forcing people to walk in the street.

Helper citizens who fail to shovel sidewalks surrounding residents can expect to receive citations.

More than 30 citations have already been issued and mailed by Helper City Police Department.

More citations can be expected if citizens do not keep sidewalks adjoining residences clear of snow, warned Police Chief George Zamantakis.

"People have forgotten that they are responsible to clean the sidewalks," Zamantakis commented.

According to Helper City ordinance 9-3-4.2, "It shall be unlawful for any occupant, or the owner of any property abutting on any street within the city, to neglect or fail to clean and keep clean of all weeds, ice, snow or rubbish, the sidewalks in front of his premises."

Failure to remove snow is a class C misdemeanor criminal offense, punishable by a $25 fine for the first offense. The fine increases with subsequent offenses.

Zamantakis said the drifted sidewalks are creating safety issues for school children in the area, as well as other pedestrians.

In addition to slippery conditions, snow-packed sidewalks force residents to opt for walking in the street, a choice which is even more dangerous during the icy months.

"It's not that we're trying to be a hard nose. The less violations we have to issue, the better," he asserted. "We just want to make things safer."

Elderly or handicapped residents who cannot make other arrangements may contact the Helper City Police Department between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m at 472-3719.

The department will arrange for a local service group to clear the snow.

In addition to removing snow, Zamantakis reminded citizens that it is unlawful to drive or park on the sidewalks any time of year, and that violators will be cited.

Helper city is also considering changes to the winter street parking ordinance which is currently in place.

From Nov. 1 to March 1, cars parked on the street between 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. are subject to fines if snow plows are being used to clear the streets.

The proposed amendment to the ordinance would make any vehicle parked on the street from Nov. 1 to March 1 subject to ticketing between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., regardless of snow plows.

The amendment will be presented to officials on Jan. 15 at the monthly council meeting at the Helper Civic Auditorium.

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