BATH

Bath City Council recently adopted an amendment to an ordinance that addresses the removal of snow and ice from buildings in the downtown commercial district.

Code Enforcement Officer Scott Davis said there have been issues in the past where building owners have not removed icicles that hang over sidewalks and streets, and that the city and the fire department have had to remove them.

The amendment will require building owners to begin removal whenever the condition occurs, or within 24 hours after a written notice has been issued.

If unheeded, the penalty will be $250, plus attorney’s fees and costs. If the city arranges for the removal, the owner will also be charged the cost of removal plus a 10 percent charge for administration. A lien can also be enforced if costs are not paid within 30 days of notice.

To date, there was never a system in place to implement the cost of the city’s services, Davis said.

“We’ve sent out bills, they haven’t been paid. So this ordinance … sets up a mechanism where if the building owner or occupant doesn’t remove the ice as directed within 24 hours, we can have it done at their expense and then secure that cost with a lien against the building,” Davis said.

“This is nothing different as far as how the nuts and bolts of this are going to happen,” he added. “Now, we’ll just have a mechanism to recover our costs.”

Councilor James Omo clarified that this would only apply for the downtown commercial district.

“If you’re at home and you have icicles on your roof and they’re not a danger to anybody, we’re not going to come out with a fire truck and remove them and send you a bill,” he said.

Davis said building and tenant owners would be directly notified about the changes once it takes affect in 21 days.

“I’m going to keep an eye on the icicles, and in theory it’s going to be the building owners’ responsibility to stay ahead of this and if they see ice forming, they’ll deal with it,” he said.

Davis said some buildings are also more problematic depending on how the roof is slanted, and noted that at least one merchant has installed an ice gutter heating system.

“I encourage other building (owners) that have had problems in the past to do the same,” he said.

Councilors unanimously approved the amendment following the second reading.

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Icy issue

• THE AMENDMENT will require building owners to begin removal whenever the condition occurs, or within 24 hours after a written notice has been issued.

If unheeded, the penalty will be $250, plus attorney’s fees and costs. If the city arranges for the removal, the owner will also be charged the cost of removal plus a 10 percent charge for administration. A lien can also be enforced if costs are not paid within 30 days of notice.



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