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Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Not shoveling walks could net $1,000 fine


By William Kincaid
Celina property owners and occupants are supposed to maintain their sidewalks, curbs and gutters at all times - including the removal of snow. So says the city ordinance.
But the long-standing law that carries up to a $1,000 fine and a misdemeanor citation for violations appears to not have been enforced for years.
At the regular board meeting on Monday night, councilman Mike Sovinski said he has received complaints about sidewalks obstructed with snow, sometimes several days after a storm.
"There's just nothing being done about it," Sovinski said.
Sovinski mentioned that the 200 block of E. Anthony has a few sidewalks that remain covered in snow.
Celina Safety Service Director Rick Bachelor informed council members of the city's law and possible consequences for violation.
City Law Director Kevin McKirnan said he has never reviewed any cases about residents being cited for not removing the snow from their sidewalks.
Also, Celina Police Chief Dave Slusser said in his 10 years as chief he has received a half-a-dozen complaints about snow obstruction but never remembers ever citing anyone.
If council members are interested, Bachelor said they could update the city code by adding a section that would hire someone to clean snow from delinquent properties and assess the charge to a resident's taxes.
"That will take council ac-
tion," he said.
Councilman June Scott made an audible sigh at the suggestion and no further action was taken.
Also, councilman Myron Buxton asked about the legality of snowmobiles in town.
Slusser said snowmobile operation is only allowed on private property with permission from the owners - not public streets.
"We generally arrest them," he said.
In other news, board members learned:
• The intersection of Wayne and Buckeye Streets will be closed today for construction.
"You have to detour somewhere before you get to the intersection," Bachelor said.
• Work on the new Kessler lift station on Johnson Street is scheduled to begin soon. The lift station, which has faulty pumps and mechanical parts, will be replaced and installed near the street as opposed to 140 feet from the street. The city then will be able to maintain the new lift station without going into residents' yards.
• City officials will talk later this month about selecting a location for the proposed Celina skateboard park.
• Work continues on the replacement of the water line along Celina's Main Street - the first step of the Main Street reconstruction project.
"Hopefully, the Main Street (waterline) project will be done in another month," Bachelor said.
• Celina parks will hold a new spring soccer tournament from April 10-11 and a fall tournament from Oct. 23-24.
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