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Deferiet board to rework property maintenance law again

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DEFERIET — The village Board of Trustees has once again tabled a proposed property maintenance law.

More than a year ago, trustees asked the Planning Board to create the law. It was proposed Jan. 9 and then sent back to planning for tweaking.

Following a nearly hourlong public hearing Wednesday concerning the eight-page proposal, the board tabled the issue to allow more time to consider the main problem: mandatory snow removal from sidewalks.

Deputy Mayor Joseph E. Cook admitted he had not shoveled the walk in front of his Wilna Avenue home in years.

“No one ever plowed the sidewalk,” he said.

He added with no curbing along the street, the snowplow redeposits snow on the walkway.

During the public hearing, Planning Board member Robin Zando said the regulations concerning snow removal were “left that way to keep kids out of the street.”

She said the Planning Board was being proactive in preventing issues for which the village could be held liable.

“Our intent was to try to keep the sidewalks clear,” Mrs. Zando said. “We are a little village. We should be good neighbors.”

Former Mayor Robert J. Foster asked whether it was a tenant’s or a property owner’s responsibility to clear or repair sidewalks.

Mrs. Zando said the law would hold the owner responsible, but the owner and tenant would have to discuss who clears the walk.

As for damage of the village-owned sidewalks, she said, the village Department of Public Works should be notified to make repairs.

Resident Sara J. Titus said she thought residents would be targeted for offenses.

Mrs. Zando assured her there is a process before a fine. First a complaint has to be filed, the code enforcement officer must investigate, then 15 days are given to correct the offense.

“By that time, the snow will probably have melted,” she said.

Questions also arose about clauses concerning animal waste removal, infestation and trash disposal.

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