JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown father is speaking out about un-shoveled sidewalks which are forcing pedestrians, many of whom are children traveling to school, to walk in the street.
“The sidewalks not being shoveled for our children to walk safely,” says Peter Gage.
Bowen Street Resident Peter Gage, who has been shoveling a path several blocks so his two kids, as well as the rest of the children in the neighborhood, can get to school.
“Nobody’s enforcing this. It’s supposed to be a law. As far as I know, it’s a resident’s job to shovel their own property, so where is the help,” asks Gage.
Though Gage says there are several disabled people, and vacant lots in the neighborhood, he still believes it should be someone’s duty to shovel in front of their residences, whether that is through hiring out to help, or by neighbors pitching in.
“Shovel your sidewalk for your kids, go an extra, if there’s an abandoned house, there’s nobody living there, shovel it. It takes two minutes,” says Gage.
Gage believes the only way to solve the problem is through official enforcement, a point he stressed to Councilmen Brent Sheldon and Randy Daversa last week.
“It is the homeowners responsibility, or the tenants responsibility to keep those sidewalks clear,” explains Sheldon. “The city does not have the manpower or the equipment to keep all the sidewalks clear. They do have a couple of machines to do designated routes around the schools and some of the main through affairs, they’ll keep those clean as well. But these individual streets, these side streets, homeowners are definitely responsible for that as well as tenants.”
Sheldon says that fines could be handed out for those not following city code, as long as the Director of Development has the staffing to do so.
“Community is very helpful here. Neighbor helping neighbor, we really need to see more of that here in Jamestown to help clear these sidewalks.” says Sheldon.
Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act could help pave the way for additional snow removal equipment, according to councilman Daversa.
“There is a number of pieces of equipment that the DPW has put in for, and I am a proponent of that. It’s been badly needed over the years, we have a very aging fleet,” says Daversa.
$1.26 million dollars in funding is set to be split between the Department of Public Works and the Parks Department, with the final budget being finalized Monday.
If the funding for certain equipment is approved, it could be delivered and on the streets of Jamestown in as early as two weeks.
The councilman also encourages community outreach to teach residents about their responsibility to keep everyone safe.