HERMITAGE, Pa. -- If you live in the city and have a sidewalk, you'd better keep it clear of ice and snow from now on.
City commissioners passed an ordinance this week making it a crime to fail to clear at least a 30-inch path through ice or snow on a sidewalk within 12 hours after the cessation of any snowfall, sleet or freezing rain.
The ordinance is an outgrowth of the city's zoning requirement that mandates that new commercial developments must put sidewalks along streets in front of their properties.
The new ordinance says if snow or ice has become so hard that it can't be removed without damaging the sidewalk, it must be treated with enough sand or some other abrasive to make walking on the sidewalk safe.
The law also regulates where you can put snow or ice removed from a sidewalk. Putting it next to a fire hydrant or on any sidewalk, road or loading and unloading areas of a public transit system is illegal.
State or municipal agencies charged with winter maintenance are excluded from the latter ban and are allowed to mound snow on public cartways and curbs.
Break the law and you could face a fine of up to $600 or up to 30 days in jail; each day that a violation is allowed to continue is a separate offense.