After major snowfalls, residents and business owners are expected to shovel their sidewalks. As YNN's Antoinette DelBel reports, many in Niagara Falls have not complied with the ordinance and could face penalties.
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Dave Scipione, owner of Scipione's Catering in Niagara Falls, started removing the snow in front of his business the old fashioned way Monday afternoon while he waited for a private contractor.
"I have three phone calls out to two different companies,” he said. “They said they would get to us in order."
While many businesses and neighborhoods in the city have cleared sidewalks from last week's major snowfall, several inches of snow still remain.
Deputy Director of Public Works for Niagara Falls John Caso said it's something that doesn't go unnoticed.
"We will actively search on main drags, like Pine Avenue, the Boulevard, that's our first step we take, because those are the main traveled areas for people walking," he said.
Home owners and businesses have approximately 24 hours after the snow stops to shovel their sidewalks. And while the snow removal ordinance is mainly complaint-driven, it's something that's not taken lightly.
"We will send an inspector out,” said Caso. “The inspector will give you a notice to clean up your property. If you don't, we'll issue you a court appearance ticket."
A court appearance could result in a fine for obstructing the right of way.
"It's dark. It's often times snowy and rainy at this time of year, and it's just a dangerous time to be walking in the street," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
While Caso said there haven't been any complaints for uncleared sidewalks yet, he expects calls to come in when school's back in session.
“I know that certain areas of La Salle and certain areas of downtown kids have to walk to school,” he said. “And if they have to walk in the street, parents are going to call."
And for those trying to avoid a fine by waiting for some extra manpower, you can always do what Scipione did and grab a shovel.