Acting on a Public Works Committee recommendation, the Sun Prairie City Council on Nov. 16 approved a change in the city’s snow removal ordinance to increase the lineal foot charge for snow removal in hardship cases.
A staff report from City Director of Public Services Adam Schleicher said the council previously amended Section 12.32.010 to exempt the sidewalk on the east side of Town Hall Drive between Prairie Rose Drive and Schuster Road from the sidewalk snow and ice removal ordinance and directed staff to have the city conduct snow and ice removal on this section of sidewalk.
A similar situation exists on Columbus Street where sidewalks are located in the rear yards of properties on Baitinger Court and East MacArthur Street.
“In this area residents were asked if they would like to enter into an agreement with the city for snow removal,” Schleicher wrote. “Currently one property has enrolled in this program. The city bills these residents cost per linear foot to perform snow removal for the season.”
The current cost to residents is $1.50 per linear foot, but Schleicher pointed out in the report that the cost is established every five years by the Public Works Committee.
“It is now time for the city to update this charge,” Schleicher reported.
A referral was made to the Public Works Committee to review the different areas where rear yard sidewalks occur in the city. At the last Public Works Committee meeting staff was directed to draft an ordinance change removing the exemption on Town Hall Drive and expand the hardship policy to extend to all city properties with rear yard sidewalks.
But, there are a number of areas in the city where sidewalks are located along rear property lines:
• Along Town Hall Drive, the city is responsible for snow removal at no charge to the homeowners.
Along Columbus Street, properties along Baitinger Court and East MacArthur Street are eligible for the program for the city to remove snow and ice for a charge.
Other areas including properties on Benz Court that back up to Columbus Street, properties along Clarmar Drive, and North Bird Street are not part of the rear yard sidewalk program and the abutting property owners are responsible for snow removal.
In April 2005, the Public Works Committee authorized the Director of Public Works to create a snow removal hardship application form for properties in Sun Prairie that have a sidewalk located within the right-of-way, in the rear yard, with limited access.
As part of the approval, the council approved the Public Works Committee recommendation to set the fee at $5 per lineal foot of sidewalk for the next five years.
The council-approved ordinance revision and the application form will be sent to residents at properties within the city that have rear yard sidewalks. The form asks residents for the property location, owner’s name, sidewalk location near a city street, approximate lineal footage of the sidewalk, whether there is access to the sidewalk from a connecting sidewalk or hard surface, and to include a sketch of the location of the sidewalk.
City residents may have difficulty adhering to one portion of the form: The return date.
The city is asking for forms to be returned by November 31st — a date that does not exist on any calendar.
Special Public Works meeting set November 23
District 1 Alder Terry McIlroy said the Sun Prairie Public Works Committee will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 23 to deal with many referrals to that committee. The time is yet to be announced.
Ordinance change restricts bikes near Olympic Village
Acting on another Public Works Committee recommendation, alders voted 6-2 to restrict the use of bicycles on the sidewalk adjacent to the Olympic Village on Hunters Trail.
The Public Works Committee received feedback from area residents who indicated they were concerned about sidewalk users on the west side of Hunters Trail conflicting with bicycles using the same sidewalk.
According to the staff report, Olympic Village residents said there were residents with mobility impairments in Olympic Village who use that sidewalk.
But, city ordinances currently only prohibit bicycles on sidewalks in the downtown area, specifically on the 100-300 blocks of West Main Street and the 100 block of Market Street.
As a result of the request, the Public Works Committee voted unanimously to recommend to the council that the ordinance be repealed and re-created.
The recommendation also directs the city to install signage prohibiting bicycles on sidewalks on the west side of Hunters Trail.
During the council vote, Alders Tina Bohling (District 4) and Theresa Stevens (District 2) voted no.