When the weather outside turned frightful last week, it led to something not-so-delightful inside the mailboxes of some Oxford Village residents and property owners.
Between Nov. 27 and 28, a total of 60 tickets were issued to folks who failed to remove the snow from their sidewalks in accordance with the village’s new ordinance, adopted in September.
Each ticket carried a $50 fine.
Sixteen of the tickets were issued to homes in the Oxford Lakes subdivision, mostly along Woodleigh Way and Thornehill Trail.
Fourteen properties along Washington St. (M-24) were cited for violations. Nine tickets were issued on Burdick St., plus another nine on East St.
The rest were issued to properties along Crawford, Mechanic, Center, Mill, Louck and Pleasant streets.
Village Manager Joseph Madore stressed the goal of the tickets is to gain compliance, not generate extra revenue.
“We don’t want your money. It’s not about the money,” he said. “We want people to just be responsible and get their sidewalks shoveled.”
Under the village’s new snow/ice removal ordinance, whenever “naturally-falling” snow or ice ceases to “fall or accumulate during daylight hours,” it must be “removed from the sidewalks within 12 hours after the cessation.”
If the snow or ice ceases to “fall or accumulate during the nighttime,” it must be “removed from the sidewalks by 7 p.m. the following day.”
Individuals who violate the ordinance face civil fines of “not less than $50 or more than $500, plus costs and other sanctions, for each infraction.”
“Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed an additional and distinct violation,” the ordinance states.
Repeat offenders face the prospect of increased fines.
The ordinance states, “For a second offense in any three-month period, the civil fine shall automatically be set at $150. For any additional offenses in any three-month time period, the civil fine shall automatically be set at $500.”
Madore noted that on Nov. 19, the village sent letters to about 140 properties along Washington and Burdick streets “giving them a heads-up” about the new ordinance.
“That’s where most of the problem has been (in the past),” he said.
Madore said the village is willing to work with people to ensure sidewalks stay clear and safe for pedestrians this winter.
“We would prefer to not collect the money,” he said.