Government Police/Fire Public Works

West Hartford Reminds Residents About Snow Removal Policy

An example of a 'DON'T' from a previous snowstorm. This sidewalk near an elementary school in West Hartford was shoveled, but not all the way to the curb cut and is not accessible. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

West Hartford residents can be fined for failure to clear snow and ice from premises within a certain period of time, and violations can be reported to the police.

This sidewalk near an elementary school in West Hartford was shoveled after the most recent snowfall, but not all the way to the curb cut. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

This sidewalk near an elementary school in West Hartford was shoveled after the most recent snowfall, but not all the way to the curb cut. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Submitted by the Town of West Hartford 

With two significant snowstorms in one week and more right around the corner, this is a good time to remind property owners, renters and businesses of the town’s policy regarding the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks.

Town Ordinance 115-24 states: “Removal of snow and ice from premises where there is an established sidewalk is required by owners or occupants within 12 hours after a storm ends or within 12 hours after sunrise, whichever is later. The whole walk must be cleared, including curb cuts, handicapped ramps, and bus stop pads, etc.”

Violators are subject to a $79 per day fine plus liability for the cost of clearing the sidewalk, if necessary.  It is also illegal to push or blow snow into the road.

The West Hartford Police Department is taking a proactive approach to this issue.

“While out on patrol, our police officers are taking note of properties that have not removed snow from their sidewalks. In particular, we are tracking down owners of vacant properties to remind them of their responsibilities,” said Daniel Coppinger, Assistant Chief of Police.

“Residents may also report violators to the West Hartford Police Department by calling the routine number, 860-523-5203,” Coppinger said.

Snow and ice removal from sidewalks is key factor for West Hartford Public Schools.

“Part of the criteria for determining whether schools can open on a snow day is, “Can schoolchildren safely walk to their bus stops or on their walking routes to school?” said Andy Morrow, assistant superintendent of schools.

“For this reason, we appreciate everyone’s help in promptly clearing their sidewalks and the corner bus stops after a storm,” Morrow said.

The same is true for commuters who use Connecticut Transit buses.

Monday’s storm that dropped a foot of snow in West Hartford caused a lot of confusion as to whether trash would be collected on schedule.

“It is on a rare occasion that trash is delayed due to snow. The Jan. 26 blizzard was one such instance,” said Michael Paine, president of Paine’s Recycling & Rubbish Removal, Inc., the town’s trash and recyclables hauler. This week the collection of trash remained on schedule despite the storm on Monday, Feb. 2.

“When in doubt, put your barrels out by 6 a.m. on your trash collection day,” said Paine.

“Please do not put the barrels in the street because they will interfere with snow removal operations,” said John Phillips, director of public works.  “If you can, cut the snow bank so you have an area to place your barrels. The robotic arm on the trucks have a fairly long reach and will be able to grab and lift your automated barrel.”

In preparation of the next storm that is expected to arrive on Sunday, public works crews are pushing snow back to the edge of the road. As a result, snow may be thrown back onto sidewalks.

“We understand your frustration.  Snow removal requires everyone’s help to keep West Hartford motorists and pedestrians safe,” Phillips said.

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