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Property owners could see 5-fold jump in fines for not clearing snow

Fines to go from $300 to $1,500.

Boston property owners could see fines jump to $1,500 for failure to remove snow fFlickr

As Boston braces several inches of snow coming with Thursday's Nor' Easter, officials are cracking down on property owners who don't keep their sidewalks clear.

City lawmakers want to increase the fines for uncleared snow. Currently snow left on sidewalks will cost $300, but if Gov. Charlie Baker approves the home rule petition, that cost will jump to $1,500. Dorchester Democrat Dan Hunt introduced the bill.

"We ran into an issue in Dorchester two years ago when we had the catastrophic snowfall," Hunt told the State House News Service, referring to the historic snowfall the city saw during the winter of 2015.

He said sidewalks piled with snow and ice are hazardous for drivers and pedestrians alike.

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The bill would also target snow removal services that dump snow into public streets, with $1,500 fines. The proposed higher fine caps would not apply to apartment buildings with six or fewer units.

"I'm pleased the State legislature has passed the city's proposed legislation to increase fines for commercial businesses who choose not to clear their sidewalks of snow," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. "During the winter, it's vital all businesses and residents do their part to make sure our cities and towns across the commonwealth are safe and accessible, and I thank the legislature for their work on this issue."

Currently, property owners can be fined$50 to $200 per day for failure to clear snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their buildings. The city imposes fines of between $50 and $200 for pushing snow from a private property onto a street or sidewalk, depending on how much snow isdumped.

The governor has untilJan. 1to sign the bill.

 
 
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