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Municipalities do not have snow removal ordinances in place

By: WJAC Web Staff

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Despite the snow storms the region has been having, stores are still open for business but shoppers may have noticed some of them have not plowed their parking lots.

Several municipalities across the Alleghenies have ordinances against it, some do not.

The concern is for the safety of people walking through icy, snow-covered parking lots.

Officials said they are not out enforcing plowing at businesses even though more than most are a sloppy mess.

However, a State College business, T & B Medical, plowed its lot numerous times in a short amount of time.

I plowed an hour before we opened but with the snow Im going to have to do it again, said T&B Medical owner Travis Barr.

Even though he chooses to do this, there is not a fine if he does not.

While all municipalities in Centre County have ordinances enforcing snow removal from public sidewalks, they do not have one for privately owned parking lots like shopping centers.

We cant regulate everything and sometimes responsibility resides with private property owner, said State College Borough member Carl Hess.

An organization that covers all municipalities in the Centre Region Council of Governments does require private business owners to keep parking lots safe.

They said they have only received one complaint in five years.

Altoona City and COG both said there is no timeline on when private parking lots must be plowed.

If they get a complaint they usually will not act until the snow has stopped and even then they will give the business a warning telling them it needs to be cleared within 24 hours.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times