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Southwick Sidewalk Debate

snowy sidewalk

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WGGB) — Walking along the stretch of College Highway in the town’s business area was supposed to be easier after sidewalks were installed for the first time ever.

But some businesses don’t think keeping them clear of snow is their responsibility. As one business operator, who did not want to be identified, explained it, they shouldn’t have to do it since they didn’t put them in.

Ask homeowners, though, and they seem pretty clear about who’s responsible for shoveling the sidewalks in front of their property.

“I would say property owner,” said Andrew Gibson.

“I believe it’s the property owner,” said Glenn Sitler. “Surprise. Surprise.”

Article two of Southwick’s bylaws entitled, “Snow and Ice Removal” states “owners of property” have to clear the abutting sidewalks. It doesn’t distinguish between residential or commercial. It also says police will enforce the code though some that may not be done enough.

“I go on [Route] 57 and a lot of people don’t,” said Tom Vella. “The sidewalks trashed, too. It’s really dangerous.”

The board of selectmen is expected to take up the issue of the new sidewalk shoveling sometime in the near future.