SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Crews continue to clear the streets but what about the sidewalks? One local city said while they do try to help with that, it’s ultimately the property owner’s job.
Just like the rest of the Valley, Salem had crews working to clear the snow off the streets.
“They went out on Sunday at 5 o’clock. We were out on the road plowing and they were out until 5:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon, which we’re out for over 24 hours,” said Safety and Service Director of Salem, Joe Cappuzzello.
On a time-lapse video from 27 First News’ weather cam over downtown Salem, there is one person plowing the snow off the sidewalks. It is unclear if they work for the city or a business.
But under a city ordinance, the city employees do not have to do this.
“We do it as a courtesy from time to time. When there is time available after everything else is done, we’ll do it as a courtesy, the downtown area,” said Cappuzzello.
This is done after things such as the streets have been plowed. Multiple departments will use snow blowers and tractors with plows to clear the snow.
“And they will go and make a pass or two on each side of State Street to try and clear the walks off for the property owners,” said Cappuzzello.
But that’s when the city has done their other tasks. A property owner can get fined if their area isn’t cleared of snow. But usually, it doesn’t get to that point.
“The property owners, whether the building is occupied or not, whoever owns that building is ultimately responsible for keeping the sidewalks clear,” said Cappuzzello.
At times, people decide when the sidewalk isn’t clear, to just walk on the side of the street.
Doing so, Cappuzzello says is dangerous.
“It’s just something that, in those type of conditions that you may not want to be out maybe, or wait a little bit longer to see if the sidewalk can be cleared,” said Cappuzzello.
If you don’t have a sidewalk near your home or business there is something you can do to help.
“I can’t think of how many hundreds of fire hydrants we have throughout the city so we would appreciate if any homeowner would be courteous, to provide and clear that off for the benefit of them and their neighbors,” said Cappuzzello.
After midnight tonight, the city of Salem will shut down State Street between Ellsworth and Lincoln Avenue to clear the sidewalks of the rest of the snow.