School is back in session in Putnam, but snowy sidewalks are forcing students to walk on the street, creating a situation parents – and the mayor – are calling dangerous.
Lisa Roberts said her middle schooler was forced to walk in the road when the path he usually takes proved impassible. On Friday, she was one of a dozen who placed complaint calls to the town hall.
“It’s just uncalled for. There’s no reason for this,” said Roberts.
Mayor Tony Falzarano says he understands the issue. He took a drive down Woodstock Avenue, a main thoroughfare to Putnam High School as well as Putnam Elementary and the middle school.
“The parents who called were correct,” said Falzarano. “It is a dangerous situation.”
According to Falzarano, homeowners face a fine of $25 per day if their sidewalks are not cleared within 36 hours of a storm.
He said the problem along Woodstock Avenue is that many residents are tenants, and some are too elderly to do the heavy lifting alone.
“Our ordinance clearly states what you are supposed to do, but the fact of the matter is, how do you get people to do it?" Falzarano explained.
To encourage compliance, the town is now sending out reminder letters and the superintendent has instructed buses to pick up walkers along the way. The mayor also said the issue will be added to the agenda at the board of selectmen’s meeting on Monday.