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Prairie Village to consider new fee structure for failure to shovel sidewalks
This year’s snow season may be behind us (knock on wood), but if and when the white stuff returns next year, Prairie Village may be prepared to take tougher action against residents who don’t shovel their sidewalks.
The Prairie Village City Council on Monday gave permission to city staff to explore creating a fee structure that would allow the city to directly fine residents who break the city ordinance requiring property owners to clear sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours of the end of a storm. At present, city ordinance only allows the city to fine residents who fail to comply with the ordinance by taking them to court.
Assistant City Administrator Dennis Enslinger told the council that his office estimated only 40 percent of the city’s sidewalks had been cleared after the most recent snowfall.
“And that’s if we’re lucky,” he said.
The city sent letters to 23 residential property owners and called 40 commercial property owners about snow removal after the storms.
Enslinger had pitched the idea of developing a direct fee structure for snow shoveling ordinance violations in the past without getting enough interest from the council to move forward. But a fresh round of stories of young and old residents forced to walk on Mission Road or 75th Street because the sidewalks were impassable prompted several councilors to agree with exploring the direct fee option.
The city administrator’s office will likely present sample ordinance language to the council in May or June.
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