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      Are your sidewalks clear today? Syracuse discusses new enforcement plan

      The Syracuse Common Council is thinking about changing the way the current sidewalk shoveling ordinance is enforced.

      Right now, homeowners are required to keep their sidewalks clear of snow. It's up to Syracuse police officers to enforce the ordinance.

      However, now the Council is considering a proposal to allow code enforcement officers to issue citations. Under the proposal, if the citations are not addressed, a property owner could face a 50 dollar fine.

      The issue was brought up at a Neighborhood Preservation Committee meeting on December 15. At that time, councilors brought up several concerns and asked the administration to bring them more information.

      Councilor Pat Hogan says, at this point, the proposal has been tabled until councilors receive more information.

      He says he would like to learn how the proposal would work operationally. He also wants the city to take a look at how effectively city-owned sidewalks are cleared because the city should be held to the same standards as homeowners.

      "If we're going to hand out citations to homeowners, we want to make sure the city takes care of its property, including shoveling the sidewalks around all the parks and the schools," says Hogan.

      Councilors also want to make sure people who aren't physically able to clear their sidewalks aren't penalized.

      Are the sidewalks in your neighborhood clear? Do you think code enforcement officers should be able to issue citations for sidewalks that haven't been shoveled? Post your comments below.