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More snow arguments heard by council

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, February 7th, 2013

It’s winter in Custer, which can only mean one thing—more fines for downtown business owners who the city says is not shoveling their sidewalks, and more of those business owners attending city council meetings to air their grievances over the fines with the city.
At Monday’s meeting of the council, the council had one fine appeal formally received from Pizza Works owner Gary King, and another was heard from Scott Cameron, who owns the former Bank Coffee House at 548 Mt. Rushmore Road.
Camerons complaint stems from the most recent weekend snow storm, for which he was fined by the city for not clearing his sidewalk. Although the city ordinance, which has been on the books since 2010, does not state an exact amount of snow that has to fall before it needs to be shoveled, it does say that any “accumulation” needs to be shoveled within 24 hours.
The city’s assistant community development director, Kim Conwell recapped the snow event, and said the Monday after the storm she started to field complaints about businesses who did not clear the sidewalk in front of their stores. She did a walk around downtown and noted businesses that were not in compliance, of which Cameron’s building was one. That list was given to city maintenance crews, who eventually did the work, which was abated back to Cameron.
Cameron said he works out of town, and was in Rapid City at some point over the weekend, but said as soon as he returned to Custer he began to work on his sidewalk. He said he would like to see better clarification as to what amounts to “accumulation,” as well as more consistency in enforcement of the ordinance.
“I’d much rather be working with all of you than be frustrated,” he said. “If we know what the rules are, it’s easier to follow them.”

It’s winter in Custer, which can only mean one thing—more fines for downtown business owners who the city says is not shoveling their sidewalks, and more of those business owners attending city council meetings to air their grievances over the fines with the city.

At Monday’s meeting of the council, the council had one fine appeal formally received from Pizza Works owner Gary King, and another was heard from Scott Cameron, who owns the former Bank Coffee House at 548 Mt. Rushmore Road.

Camerons complaint stems from the most recent weekend snow storm, for which he was fined by the city for not clearing his sidewalk. Although the city ordinance, which has been on the books since 2010, does not state an exact amount of snow that has to fall before it needs to be shoveled, it does say that any “accumulation” needs to be shoveled within 24 hours.

The city’s assistant community development director, Kim Conwell recapped the snow event, and said the Monday after the storm she started to field complaints about businesses who did not clear the sidewalk in front of their stores. She did a walk around downtown and noted businesses that were not in compliance, of which Cameron’s building was one. That list was given to city maintenance crews, who eventually did the work, which was abated back to Cameron.

Cameron said he works out of town, and was in Rapid City at some point over the weekend, but said as soon as he returned to Custer he began to work on his sidewalk. He said he would like to see better clarification as to what amounts to “accumulation,” as well as more consistency in enforcement of the ordinance.

“I’d much rather be working with all of you than be frustrated,” he said. “If we know what the rules are, it’s easier to follow them.”

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Current Comments

1 comments so far (post your own)
Allan
February 7th, 2013 at 06:24am

accumulate: to gather into a heap, mass, cover, etc.; form a steadily increasing quantity.

There is your definition. Now, when snow falls and you can't see your sidewalk...sweep it or shovel it.

I work in healthcare billing. Just wait until someone falls on your sidewalk because you didn't think it was "enough" snow to remove. The claim to your liability insurance will be heft.

There are responsibilities to being a business owner. Snow removal is one. Stop whining and clear your sidewalk.

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