By DAVID GREEN
The best solution for dealing with failure to clear walks of snow? Hope for warmer weather.
City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder told city council members Monday that she heard several complaints about snow on sidewalks after 10 inches of snow fell earlier in the month.
Typically, she said, city workers handle the job when the ordinance isn’t followed and the property owner is billed for the work. The DPW is understaffed now, she said, and workers are busy removing snow from streets and parking lots following storms.
City supervisor Barney Vanderpool said a private contractor with smaller equipment should be hired. He thought that had been done in the past.
Schroeder said the process is more difficult now due to the housing market.
“We’re at the point now with some foreclosed houses that we don’t even know who to bill,” she said.
Tracking down the bank can be very difficult, said police chief Larry Weeks. It’s often located in another state and representatives have never heard of Morenci.
Schroeder said it wouldn’t be good for the city to clear the walk of an occupied house, but leave walks snow covered at vacant houses where there’s no one to pay the cost.
Council member Keith Pennington said that some complaints are lodged unfairly. If snow stops falling in the afternoon, the property owner has until noon the next day to clear snow.
Rather than hire a contractor with power equipment, an audience member suggested hiring individuals in need of employment to work with a snow shovel. That idea was rejected due to liability concerns.
Vanderpool said he is occasionally contacted by people required to perform community service, but they typically fail to show up for work.
Another audience member suggested contacting the high school’s Volunteer Club to assist residents who aren’t able to shovel their own walk.
Rather than go through a bidding process, councilor Tracy Schell suggested the city should seek a contractor by giving a price paid for the work and asking if the person is willing to work at that cost.
Vanderpool was asked to look at costs and come up with a plan to address occupied homes where the owner fails to clear snow.
Citizens with complaints about snowy walks should contact city hall.
BOARD—Al Acuña was appointed to fill a vacancy on the city’s board of review.
INSPECTOR—Harry Hutchison was selected as an alternate building inspector.