City Council addresses sidewalk complaints

Kevin Gareau

Kent City Council moved last night to address complaints from residents that the city’s sidewalks have not been adequately plowed.

Ward 4 Councilman John Kuhar made a motion asking the city administration to advise council on what can be done about keeping the sidewalks clean, whether that means buying new equipment or better using the city’s equipment.

During deliberation about the motion, Ward 3 Councilman Wayne A. Wilson said buying new equipment would likely cost the city too much money, adding to economic woes.

One of the options discussed during deliberations was reassessing and enforcing penalties against citizens for not removing snow. Councilman-at-large Michael DeLeone said penalizing citizens for not removing snow could be difficult.

“How do we prioritize who’s in violation?” DeLeone said.

He added the city certainly could not penalize senior citizens and others who are not able to remove their snow.

After deliberating, council members voted to send the issue to the Streets, Sidewalks and Utilities Committee.The committee will talk to members of the administration to determine what equipment the city has that could be used to clear the sidewalks.

Ward 5 Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer said the issue was first raised during Monday’s committee meeting.

“During the meeting, members of the committee and members of the public stated they were upset,” Shaffer said. “Some said they’ve lived in other cities, and Kent seems to do worse with snow removal.”

The Streets, Sidewalks and Utilities Committee will meet again Feb. 2.

Contact public affairs reporter Kevin Gareau at [email protected].