East Aurora is taking the fight over sidewalk snow shoveling to residents’ front doors.
Mayor Allan Kasprzak on Monday showed the Village Board a sample of a blue door hanger that soon may serve as notice to property owners who do not clear their sidewalks. It could also be used in the summer to let violators know their grass is too long or for other village code violations.
Officials have said the door hanger would serve as a warning. It would take a few violations before it would likely result in a court summons for the offender. The village had about 1,000 hangers printed but so far has not distributed any.
“This deals mostly with quality-of-life issues,” Police Chief Ron Krowka said after the meeting.
Village officials have struggled this winter with how to get residents and business owners to keep snow cleared from their sidewalks because the village’s plows cannot keep up during heavy snowfalls.
The proposed door hangers leave space for a police complaint number to be filed, with the violator’s address and the date of the citation. The door hanger also cites the village website for more information on violations as specified in the code book.
Krowka spearheaded the effort for the door hangers and has been meeting with Kasprzak and Village Administrator Bryan Gazda. The village’s code enforcement officer and police officers will place the hangers on doors once the board approves the plan.
Krowka acknowledged that the door hangers could drain manpower.
“But we’re talking when there’s been a lot of snow,” he said. “Then, it will affect manpower.”
He said officers already put warning tags on cars a few days before the overnight street parking ban takes effect for the winter. And that has helped that situation, he said.
How effective will the door hangers be?
“You get education, warnings and then enforcement,” Krowka said.
Some aren’t so certain the door hangers will do the trick.
“Why not just send a letter? What’s the difference?” Trustee Kevin Biggs said. “Other than it embarrasses you in front of your neighbors. But then again, embarrassed people already know who they are because they didn’t shovel.”
The door hangers can be used to address a variety of violations under village code, among them failure to cut grass that is higher than 10 inches.