Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Closing Dead-End Sidewalks for the Winter

City ordinances require that property owners keep sidewalks clear of all ice and snow. Obviously, this is to provide for the safety of those who use the sidewalks in Milton.

However, every winter the City receives complaints from property owners who have dead-end sidewalks (like the one in this picture). The residents argue that those "sidewalks to nowhere" do not need to be kept clear during the winter because nobody has any reason to use them. It's just hard to question that logic, isn't it? However City ordinances and policies require consistency in the way City staff monitor and regulate snow removal on all sections of sidewalk; dead-end or not.

However, we have come up with a solution that should help. On November 30th the City Council adopted a policy that allows property owners to request that their dead-end sidewalks be closed during the winter months. A copy of the new policy is available online at http://www.ci.milton.wi.us/document_detail.aspx?document_id=2983.

Below are details on how property owners can go about requesting dead-end sidewalk closure for this season:
  1. The closures are based solely on property owner requests. Unless it is specifically requested by the property owner, the City will not close the sidewalks and snow/ice removal will be required. Any property owners who desire dead-end sidewalk closure must contact the Public Works Department in writing no later than Monday, December 28th via e-mail (miltondpw@charter.net), fax (868-6929) or regular mail at Milton DPW, 430 E. High St., Suite 3, Milton, WI, 53563.
  2. City staff will review each closure request to determine if it meets the policy standards. Recommended closures will then be presented to the Public Works Committee and Common Council on January 5, 2010. Obviously, we would expect that there'll be snow on the ground by then. Be sure to clear the snow/ice until your sidewalk is officially closed with a City barricade.
  3. Following Council approval, and likely by January 8th (depending on weather conditions and availability of DPW staff), the City will place a barricade and "Sidewalk Closed" signage on the approved dead-end sidewalk sections.
  4. Because this is the first year for this new policy, a grace period will be used. If a property owner with a dead-end sidewalk does not request closure but receives a violation notice for not clearing the snow/ice, they will be given a one-time opportunity to request closure mid-season.

Any questions about this new policy may be directed to the Public Works Department at 868-6914 or by e-mail at miltondpw@charter.net.