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Lackawanna studying new rules for private snow removal

Lawmakers are looking to overhaul city regulations governing private snow removal after complaints by residents over neighbors’ snow being dumped on their properties.

“I don’t feel like we’re doing this for the purpose of generating revenue,” said Joseph Jerge, Third Ward Council member Monday night. “It’s more for the purpose of having accountability for people who plow driveways. We need to know who is plowing what so we know who to chase after in the event of a problem.”

At issue is Chapter 188 of the Lackawanna City Code, which requires a permit sticker to be affixed to vehicles doing plow work. Council members are seeking a clear identification of the operator by name or number large enough to be discernible from a distance.

“The city’s not going to patrol the streets looking for people who are plowing snow in other people’s yards,” said Jerge. “The only thing that will precipitate a problem would be a phone call from a citizen.”

One resident who regularly attends City Council meetings said the neighbors on her street closely monitor plowing activity all winter.

“If someone is taking snow from across the street and dumping it on my property,” said Faith Gordon. “Yes, the neighbors will call to complain.”

“There are a lot of people who complain every year, and nothing happens,” Jerge responded. “We’re trying to make sure it doesn’t happen anymore. We had a bad situation on South Park and Maple Grove last year.”

Councilwoman Annette Iafallo said she has also fielded complaints from her Second Ward constituents who are fed up with snowplow drivers dumping snow in yards and sometimes even in their driveways.

Council members agreed to meet within the next two weeks to map a course of action.

On another matter, the ongoing road construction at South Park Avenue and the Ridge Road railroad overpass at Rosary Avenue has reduced the speed limit within the construction zone to 25 mph.

Police will be enforcing the posted speed limit, said James T. Kuna, director of public safety.