Laramie residents have one more chance to sound off before potential changes to the city’s snow, ice and debris removal policy are finalized.

The Laramie City Council will hold one last public hearing on the potential changes to the city's snow and ice removal policy before having its third and final reading on the ordinance during their meeting Tuesday night.

The City Council will then vote on whether or not to approve Original Ordinance No. 1977, which would enact several changes to the city’s policy on removing snow and other debris from sidewalks.

Councilor Pat Gabriel said the public hearing tonight is the third that the City Council has held on the ordinance. He says the City Council wanted to give everyone the chance to provide their input on the subject and get the policy changes right.

“What we’re trying to do is just cover all the bases,” Gabriel said. “I’ve received maybe three calls, some emails about the policy. I think everybody is really concerned about getting this right.”

The changes to the policy include a language clean-up that better defines “obstructions,” changes the snow or ice removal time to 9 a.m. following a snow event and imposing fees for violators of the policy.

Gabriel said violators would receive a notice that they are in violation of the policy and would have 24 hours to remove the snow or debris from the sidewalk. If the snow was not removed within that time, the snow would be removed by a contractor at the owner’s expense, including an administrative fee.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good policy in place if we can get enough approval from the council on it,” Gabriel said. “But I think one of the biggest things we want to do is bring awareness to everybody how important this is to get snow removed off the sidewalk for safety conditions.”

Gabriel said that while the policy will help work towards that goal, enforcement will still be an issue. Gabriel said that due to budget constraints, there hasn’t been much support for increasing the number of personnel in the City Code Enforcement office. Gabriel said Brian Forster is currently the only employee in the Code Enforcement office.

“Even if we do put these policies in place, it’s still going to be up to people making complaints and then the code enforcer going out and trying to get everybody to adhere to the policy,” Gabriel said. “It’s a difficult situation with our budget constraints in the city.”

The City Council meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. tonight at City Hall.

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