Manchester Residents Must Clear Sidewalks or Pay Up

The town of Manchester is cracking down on property owners who fail to clear snow from their sidewalks.

Thanks to a newly revised ordinance, the town is able to fine property owners who don't clear sidewalks within 24 hours of a storm, said Town Manager Scott Shanley.

The ordinance also allows the town to bring crews in to clear the snow and place liens on properties to recover costs, Shanley said.

"The idea is to get the children off the road. People need to be able to not be in the road in this kind of condition. We've got visibility problems anyway because of the high snow banks and we need to do everything we can," said Shanley.

So far this winter, the town has already cleared snow from sidewalks on 25 vacant properties and is now placing about $20,000 in liens on them, Shanley said.

They're issuing $75 tickets to owners of occupied properties, he said, and they'll soon clear those sidewalks and file liens against the properties if the snow lingers.

"The vast majority of people get out there after every snow event and take care of it. But we do have a relative handful of holdouts who simply won't and those are the folks we are now enforcing," said Shanley.

Around town, residents say it's a good idea.

"I think people need to start getting it done a lot sooner. It's terrible, especially people trying to walk. You have to walk in the road," said Manchester resident Jason Parsons.

The town is also encouraging residents to clear the snow from fire hydrants. Failing to do that can also land property owners a $75 fine.

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