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February 15, 2013

Neighbors answer call to help clear sidewalks

Snow removal from sidewalks and edges of streets continues

HAVERHILL — As city workers try to get sidewalks clear for students and other pedestrians, some residents are answering the mayor’s call for help.

With parents complaining about children having to walk at the sides of narrow streets to get to school and bus stops, Mayor James Fiorentini asked residents to help clear sidewalks in front of their homes wherever possible.

Blaisdell Street residents Dan Collins and Roger Stillinger are doing their part. They cleaned the blizzard snow from their property and the five houses around them, and the sidewalks as well.

“We take out the snowblower and go up and down to our nearest neighbors and clean the snow for them,” Collins said.

Despite efforts of city workers and help from residents, some snow-covered sidewalks remain.

“I realize it’s a problem and we’ll have our crews out working until the sidewalks get cleared,’’ the mayor said yesterday. “We have two sidewalk plows to work with for now. We only had one until I was mayor, and I’m trying to get another one.’’

City workers continue to clear sidewalks and use front-end loaders to widen streets. They put the snow into dump trucks, which take it to the Highway Department Yard on Primrose Street. There, a huge mound of snow is growing.

Fiorentini said he met with police Chief Alan DeNaro and School Superintendent James Scully to review the plan for cleaning the city after the blizzard. They identified critical areas that needed the most immediate attention, and planned to work on the sidewalks after the streets were cleared.

Although Fiorentini said Haverhill has in the past enforced the ordinance requiring property owners to clear the sidewalks in front of their buildings, he is reluctant to use it unless the owner shows complete disregard for the law — especially with so much snow on the ground from the blizzard.

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