STEPHENVILLE Clayton Moraze, owner of Hartery’s Restaurant on Main Street in Stephenville, is having trouble this year keeping up with snow removal.
Town of Stephenville Snow Clearing Regulations 2014, which were adopted at a general town council meeting on Tuesday, could even make matters worse for him.
While Moraze said he wants to have a good relationship with the town, he blames the town plow for piling snow in front of and on the side of his premises.
He said early each morning when there is a snowfall, he has a local contractor clear out the snow from the front and on the back of the restaurant, then the town’s snowplow comes by and piles it up there again.
He said it seems that snow from further up Main Street is brought down his way and the town plow pushes it in front of his store and towards the back when the operator takes the turn on Churchill Street.
“I don’t know if it’s because of my location but I won’t be able to operate a business if I have to get it plowed out two or three times a day. It’s hard on a business when the money you made that day has to go into snow clearing,” Moraze said.
Residents and businesses that do not abide by the new snowclearing regulations in Stephenville can expect to pay hefty fines, which have increased tenfold.
Mayor Tom O’Brien said the regulations haven’t been updated since June 15, 1989 and that council felt it was time for a change, especially since some businesses don’t clear the snow from in front of their properties.
“You have a big percentage that do keep their properties cleared and others that don’t. We appreciate the businesses and residents that follow the snow clearing regulations, but we (council members) agreed to and have to address those that don’t,” he said.
In regards to residents, O’Brien was referring to those people that deposit snow on streets in the town.
He said the new regulations are specifically aimed at these problems with residents and some businesses. He said the former fine of $25 for first offence and second of $50 for subsequent offences just wasn’t cutting it and council is hoping the increase to $250 for the first offence should make a difference.
Those in default of paying that fine could be facing a period of imprisonment not exceeding 30 days. For a second offence the penalty is now $500, or in default, to a period of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days. For subsequent offences, $1,000, or in default, to a period of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days.
O’Brien admitted there were few, if any, penalties levied for such offences in the past and that people were talked to or sent letters.
Now he vows that once the regulations have been published and come into effect, that they will be acted upon and that the penalties will be enforced.
“The purpose of updating the regulations is so everyone can see them and realize the consequences of not following them,” he said.
Moraze said if he’s forced to get the snow cleared away then he will, but believes the town has to take some of the responsibility in it being piled up there.