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Question Of The Week: Cleaning Up After Mother Nature

Should residents be taxed for not maintaining their properties?

Welcome to this week's virtual watercooler question of the week, a Woonsocket Patch feature that allows you to weigh in on a subject that affects Woonsocket and how we live in this great city.

One of the great things about living in New England is that we experience all four seasons. As the saying goes in New England, if you don't like the weather, just wait, it's going to change. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of the changing seasons is that we are vulnerable to all sorts of major weather events. In the spring, we worry about flooding. In the summer, we worry about drought. The fall brings about hurricane season and in the winter, it's all about the snow, which brings us to our question of the week.

This week's question is regarding snow removal on both city and private property. Do you feel the city should be responsible for the removal of snow off of the sidewalks in the city of Woonsocket, or do you think it should be up to the individual homeowners and businesses owners throughout the city to clear the sidewalks in front of their own properties? Do you think it would be fair if the city sent out bills to property owners when public works had to clear the sidewalks in front of their homes or businesses? Are you comfortable with the city's current policies regarding snow removal on sidewalks? And lastly, do you feel safe during the winter with the way the city currently handles snow removal?

StephenJP September 06, 2011 at 11:44 AM
Find out what works well for other city's and do that. No I do not feel safe with people in wheel chairs having to go down the street in the snow because there are no sidewalks cleared. Stephen
JOJO September 06, 2011 at 01:05 PM
The property owners should be responsible for the snow clean up in front of their property, bit the city should take care of all the side walks on main road ways!!!!! Like on Diamond Hill Road and in front and around all schools. I know my children go to Pothier and the sidewalks are NEVER clean after a snow storm. It forces the children and parents to walk in the road which is completely unsafe!!!!!
New to Woonsocket September 06, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Don't home owner in Woonsocket pay property taxes? Is the bill broken down in "services"? I agree with JOJO. After the last few snow storms we've had there has been very little room to clean! I can't imagine someone in their 60's & 70's trying to thow snow up a 10ft pile to get snow off the side walk. Down town, 1 mile to school/public and heavy traveled roads should be cleared by the city. Many homes in Woon. are rentals. Landlords could be charge on multis over 2 families. Lots of times 2nd floors are extended families and they are there for economic reasons. If they are making profit, it's a business. They should be caring for the business, or pay someone...lots of people need a little cash. Create a youth patrol for home owners that can't afford to pay. Local agency or WPD? WFD? have a request line. Juve offenders, or those who need community service time.
Louis September 07, 2011 at 09:11 AM
The snow on the sidewalk was pushed there from the street making it very heavy and compact. Where do they expect you to put it, back in the street, or put all those road chemicals on my lawn?
STEPHEN WEBER September 07, 2011 at 09:48 AM
This was never an issue back in the 80's and before. Everyone cleared their sidewalks or paid someone a few bucks to do so... There are laws in place addressing the issue of sidewalk snow removal but the Mayor will not Man up and enforce them because fines might be a bit unpopular at first.. All last winter people risked their lives walking amongst speeding traffic on Diamond Hill and all other city streets ... Now with Winter coming soon, the street Lights will be out and people will be walking in the streets with cars speeding by them within inches in the pitch dark ... Anyone killed, and somebody definitely will be, can blame the mayor ... I'd like to the Mayor take his whole family for a nice winter stroll along Diamond Hill from the Social Security to Vermette's corner the day after a good snow storm .. Maybe a dangerous terrifying walk like that would make the mayor appreciate the danger that so many people in the city are forced to endure on a daily basis in the Winter, because if his inaction...
EB September 07, 2011 at 11:00 AM
Last I knew I didn't own the sidewalks. I pay tax upon tax upon tax. The city is responsible for sidewalks, I am responsible for my driveway and walkways. Trash pick up used to be free, we got a new system that was supposed to defray costs and NOW we pay to have the trash picked up. It would be nice to get some service for the taxes we pay.
Maxin September 08, 2011 at 03:09 PM
EB I'm with you I would like to see some service for the outragiest taxes we pay here. Let the city workers do something for all the money and bennifitntils we give to them. After they are done plowing the roads then they can clean up the mess they made of the sidewalks. I don't care if it takes a week or two but they should not stop until all sidewalks are clear.
STEPHEN WEBER September 08, 2011 at 03:52 PM
The Woonsocket laws /ordinances pertaining to this issue: Sec. 16-19. Snow on sidewalks. No owner or tenant of an estate, or any person having the care of any building or lot of land abutting on any sidewalk situated within the limits of the city, shall place or suffer to remain for more than four (4) hours between sunrise and sunset, any snow upon such sidewalk. The provisions of this section shall apply to the falling of snow from any building. Sec. 16-21. Ice on sidewalks. No owner or tenant of an estate, or any person having the care of any building or lot of land abutting on any sidewalk situated within the limits of the city, shall suffer to remain for more than two (2) hours between sunrise and sunset, any ice upon such sidewalk, unless such ice is made even and covered with sand or some suitable substance to prevent slipping.
Maxin September 08, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Yea but Ordinances can change very quickly if the tax payers are behind it. Remember no tax payers no money. Far too long we been letting you the governments tell us what to do, things are changing. Who's the idiot who came up with that law he/she can net even speak clear English. It must be from the colonial days and any law from the brits is not law as far as we, us, here in America are concerned. It’s just another way of saying I am a city worker and I not supposed to work just pay your taxes so I can go on vacation. Shovel our city streets pay your taxes and shut up. Well I don’t know about you but I’m tired of the attitude we get the lack of services we get for the amount we pay. So stick that in your coffee and stir on it a while.

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