WENATCHEE — When it comes to clearing sidewalks, the city of Wenatchee says, “Tough luck — clear it or risk a citation.” City snow removal code enforcement begins Thursday.
The announcement came Wednesday afternoon, reminding residents they are responsible for removing snow and ice within 24 hours of a storm.
Officials had delayed enforcement of the removal date because of record-breaking snowfall between last Wednesday and Thursday.
The Wenatchee City Council will vote on an emergency ordinance about snow clearing on Thursday, said Rob Jammerman, Wenatchee public works director.
The resolution would let the city hire snow-clearing contractors and then “seek reimbursement” from residents who did not clear their space after receiving notice to clear it, he said.
High pedestrian areas are unsafe right now, he said. “We need to react quickly to this.”
The plan is to start delivering notices to residents who need to clear their sidewalks starting Thursday, he said.
The city would rather allow residents to hire their own contractor or snow removers, he said. “We are empathetic to people, this is unprecedented.”
Jammerman said, if it does come down to using enforcement as a means to clear areas, it is a very lengthy process. Snow could be melted by then, he said.
City outreach about snow removal has been successful in the past, but not this time, following the heavy snowfall, he said.
Jammerman said he does not yet know how much residents could pay in contractor fees if they do not remove their snow and ice.
The city is also looking for volunteers to help those who may be unable to clear snow themselves. People interested in helping out can contact Tammy Stanger by calling (509) 888-6204 or emailing email@example.com.