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Hellertown residents warned about throwing snow into streets

By Lou Gombocz, Jr., WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 16 2013 11:41:42 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 16 2013 11:43:01 PM CST
Hellertown Borough council meeting
HELLERTOWN, Pa. -

Hellertown residents need to think twice from now on about shoveling or blowing snow directly onto borough streets. After one warning, repeat offenders are going to be ticketed and fined for violating a borough "nuisance ordinance" regarding snow removal.

And, the same goes if your freshly cleared driveway entrance gets refilled with the white stuff by a borough snow plow clearing streets.

Borough Council Monday night heard a report from Public Works Director, Tom Henshaw, detailing how a significant number of residents were blatantly shoveling snow directly out and even back onto Hellertown's streets throughout last weekend. 

In addition, Henshaw remarked, the entire problem was made worse with the onset of frigid temperatures after the storm and the precipitation refreezing to a rock-hard consistency by the time crews redid roadways.

Council commended Henhsaw and his department for the speedy and thorough removal of the nearly six inches of snow that fell in the borough on Saturday and questioned the need for a stricter enforcement of the snow removal ordinance.

Outgoing Council President, Phil Weber interjected, "Don't we have an ordinance to prevent this?"

Henshaw said his reduced crew of four, due to vacations, worked between twelve to sixteen hours each to clear streets. However,  he was dismayed by the number of residents who simply "threw their snow right out onto the middle of the street".

Henshaw said residents should dispose of snow in their street gutter or pile it on their property.

The Public Works director also pointed out  that even after salting snow remnants, they refreeze too quickly, due to the cold temperatures, to be adequately and significantly removed.

Some of the streets most noticeably affected to mention only a few, noted Henshaw, were Easton Road, Northampton Street, and Depot Street.

In addition, he reported five cars were towed for being left parked on borough snow emergency routes.

Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer, Kris Russo, said snow removal first-time ordinance offenders can expect a $50 fine after one written warning, with repeat violators being charged up to $1,000 for multiple occurrences.    

In other business, Council presented outgoing president Weber with a gavel and block plaque for eleven years of service to Hellertown as Monday night's meeting was the last for the Democrat employed by Bethlehem Precast, Inc.