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Stiffer penalties wanted for failure to clear snow

Failing to shovel snow has led one local resident to call on Banff town council to consider tougher penalties for those who don’t clear their sidewalks. At Banff town council Monday (Feb.

Failing to shovel snow has led one local resident to call on Banff town council to consider tougher penalties for those who don’t clear their sidewalks.

At Banff town council Monday (Feb. 14), council discussed the issue after receiving a letter from resident Leslie Densmore concerned about people neglecting to clear sidewalks.

“As a pedestrian who makes as many as 20 trips each week between my home and my place of employment, I find this situation not only annoying, but sometimes treacherous,” she said.

Presently, the bylaw department typically gives warnings. Repeat offenders get final warnings and then eventually a $100 fine if they ignore the bylaw department’s request.

In January alone, there were 42 complaints, from three to five different people.

“I would urge council to consider some form of increase to the amount of this penalty so that clearing sidewalks becomes preferable to paying fines,” said Densmore.

Council made no specific decision on this issue, but Coun. Chip Olver said she would be keen for bylaw to be more proactive in higher priority zones, such as near schools and Mineral Springs Hospital.

“The intent would be that bylaw would be more proactive in those areas rather than waiting for complaints,” said Coun. Olver.

“I’m not sure that our program of just giving warnings is aggressive enough.”

Coun. Stavros Karlos said it has been a big snow year, but encouraged people who are not shoveling their sidewalks not to be such “dirt bags”.

“I want to discuss a further strategy,” he said.

Anyone with concerns about people not clearing sidewalks, can go to the town’s website at www.banff.ca and fill in an Action Request to let the town know of a problem.


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