Walkers Concerned About Icy Sidewalks in New London

People taking to the streets in New London said they’re concerned they might slip and fall since parts of the sidewalks are still covered in ice.

New London Mayor Michael Passero said it’s up to the building owner to clean up their walkway since the city doesn’t have the manpower to pick up the slack.

“The sidewalk’s clear halfway up the road here and then almost half the way down here. But over here, it’s nothing but ice,” said Dustin Tantaquidgeon, of Uncasville, about the sidewalk on State Street in downtown New London.

“If it snows and then if it’s also been where it’s melted, it rains again and it gets super slick,” said Joel Ryan, of Groton.

“I slipped not too long ago,” said New London’s Joseph Peterson.

The problem mainly exists in front of vacant buildings. One on State Street was still causing a problem for walkers Friday.

“If you got stuff in your hands and you’re just walking, you can just easily slide and fall,” Tantaquidgeon said, while catching himself after slipping.

“At this point in my life I’m scared to death because it just takes one slip on the ice and I’m out of work,” said Charlotte Hennegan, who owns Thames River Greenery and Thames River Wine and Spirits on State Street.

A city ordinance mandates building owners to clean the sidewalk in from of their properties.

Hennegan said she’s lost business because of her neighbor, an absentee landlord.

“I have customers that pull up and say, ‘Charlotte, I couldn’t get in, the ice was too much,’” she said.

Mayor Passero said the city simply does not have the funds, resources nor staffing to clear all city sidewalks. He’s said he’s been calling landlords personally, asking them to clean up the ice.

Friday afternoon, Public Works employees sanded and shoveled in front of the vacant State Street Property.

The city will bill the landlord for labor and resources, Passero said. Police said they will also dole out $100 fines to landlords and homeowners who don’t comply.

A representative for the City of New London said already they’ve handed out 10 written warnings. No one has been fined, yet.

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