I also have to wonder whether the fines actually imposed are big enough to persuade a property owner to use one of the economical snow removal services available. I use a snow removal service that only costs about $85 a year. The fines don't seem to persuade repeat offenders to sign up with one of the services. The Observer mentioned that the prize winner for most citations was my old fraternity at 700 Oxford. I walked by the house yesterday and found no snow removal had occurred on the 220 feet of Hill Street frontage. It was an icy mess.
Here's what I suggest.
1. Stop all the warnings. Just one at the beginning of the winter. After that, citations.
2. Initially, use actual patrols. They could be seasonal workers. If the program works, they won't be needed long.
3. Impose fines that make a snow removal service an economical option.
4. A first offense fine could be $400 and a second offense $800. But the City could work with the court to reduce the payment to court costs upon receipt of evidence that the property owner had arranged for annual public sidewalk snow removal. (Ann Arbor Snow Removal, neighbor kid down the street, whatever)
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