City Will No Longer Snowblow Sidewalks in Downtown Sturgeon Bay

The practice of snowblowing business sidewalks in some parts of Sturgeon Bay will be discontinued as a result of action taken by the city council Tuesday afternoon. In January, the matter of removing snow from the sidewalks recently installed on Egg Harbor Road was discussed. At that time, letters were sent to the affected businesses telling them it would be their responsibility to clear the snow, noting that if the snow was not removed, the city would do the work for a fee. Currently, after each three inch snowfall, city crews clear away the snow from sidewalks in the downtown area. Other business districts in the city have asked for the same service. However, a search of records failed to indicate when or why the practice started. The question was raised, if the current policy continues, where would you draw the line Before a decision was made on the committee level, ten municipalities were contacted to see if they cleared sidewalks near businesses. All said “no” and one indicated the there could be legal liability because the city is essentially competing with private business when it clears away the snow from specific sidewalks. It was also pointed out that city crews would continue removing snow from the sidewalk to the curb to provide access to businesses. Alder-Person Kelli Catarozoli argued that the practice should continue because of the unique nature of the downtown area. She wanted the matter sent back to committee for more discussion. However, a majority of council-members thought otherwise.

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