Francis Lollie is Danbury's sidewalk guy. Complaints? He hears them. Cracked sidewalks? He drives out and looks. He snapped a photo of the unshoveled sidewalk on Main Street in front of St. Joseph's Church on Monday.
"Looks like I need to make a phone call," said Lollie, assistant construction manager for Danbury. Lollie is sometimes called the Sidewalk Superintendent. The sidewalk in front of St. Joe's was clear by Tuesday, but Danbury is starting to crack down on people who haven't cleared their sidewalks yet. "Given the amount of snow, we try to be lenient."
"They really started on Saturday, and they'll make a visit or two," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "If it becomes clear nobody's clearing the sidewalk, we'll send them a citation."
Danbury sent out 400 violation notices two years ago, and Charlotte kicked sidewalk clearing into focus this year, said Thomas Hughes, Superintendent of Construction Services. A citation is a $100 charge per day for non-compliance.
Lollie and Boughton said Wednesday the city will start mailing citations. Lollie has checked most of Danbury's main roads and he's moving farther into the neighborhoods.
"I don't want to make this about the 20 percent of people who won't clear their sidewalks," Boughton said. "Eighty percent did it."
Boughton said it's all about liability. A homeowner is liable if someone falls on their sidewalk. Worse than that, a homeowner who didn't clear a sidewalk forces people to step into the road to walk, and that homeowner becomes liable for any accident caused by forcing those pedestrians into the street.
"It will circle right back to their responsibility," Boughton said.