City sidewalk involvement rejected

By Seth Schmidt

Would it be feasible for the City of Tracy to clear snow and ice from sidewalks throughout the city?
The Tracy City Council discussed the idea at length Monday, before answering the question with a resounding “no.”
Council consensus was that a municipally-sponsored sidewalk snow clearing program would be expensive for taxpayers, expose city government to new liability risks, potentially damage residential yards, and possibly be impractical to carry out.
Instead, the council instructed City Administrator Kris Ambuehl to review the city’s current ordinance governing sidewalk snow removal, and recommend strategies for future enforcement.
“The key for why we are discussing this,” Ambuehl told the council, “is that we have a majority of property owners who are taking care of their sidewalks, and asking why nothing is being done to the few who don’t do anything to their sidewalks.”
The idea for the Public Works Dept. taking over sidewalk snow removal surfaced at a recent planning commission meeting. City staff was requested to estimate costs.
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.