A Nelson councillor believes it’s time for the bylaw department to step up enforcement to make sure residents shovel their sidewalks during the winter.
Keith Page brought the issue up during Friday’s special council meeting saying there’s an enforcement “gap” that needs to be filled.
“Start with potentially referral to the Angel Program but on a second shot, a bylaw ticket that comes out of there. But I don’t think we need to be out there at every snow event but I do think we need to be out there a handful of times every winter. You don’t know when you’re going to get it done, you don’t know when you’re going to get hit,” Page said.
The Angel Program is a referral program that matches seniors and those with mobility issues with other people in their neighbourhood who can help shovel. “We need to have a little bit of a stick to go with that carrot,” he added.
When the city passes off responsibility of clearing sidewalks to the public, Page says there should be an “onus” for the city to make sure those sidewalks are being cleared to a certain standard.
Mayor John Dooley agreed saying the issue has been “talked about for a number of years” and suggested it should be easier now to clean a sidewalk than in the past.
“Back in the day you used to move your car from one side of the street to the other, that’s how much snow we used to get here. We’re not getting snow loads now like we used to get, not even close,” the mayor said.
CAO Kevin Cormack suggested the idea come to an upcoming budget meeting because increased enforcement could come at a cost.