West York residents warned to clear sidewalks or face a fine

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WEST YORK, Pa. - Daniel Benner hasn't even moved into the home he just bought here for his family, but he's already fulfilling the tasks of being a homeowner.

"We've got to clear the snow so we can move in," he said. "And we've got to make sure we've got enough room to put the box trucks in here."

Benner also just learned that he's in a race against time to avoid a nasty housewarming gift from the borough: a fine for not clearing the sidewalks.

" It's bad that the plows can't even fully plow the roads so we can park on the side of the road," Benner said, referring to the large snow banks left behind by the plows. "It just sucks, and then they talk about fining us, and they're the ones that double made the mess?"

Borough police began distributing notices Wednesday to residents, saying they have until the close of business Friday to clear the sidewalks or they will be subject to a fine.

All the streets in West York are clear and passable for cars, although the snow banks remain, the borough said Wednesday. Its ordinance says residents have 12 hours to clear the sidewalks or face a fine, but given how much snow the area received, the borough said it wanted to give residents some leeway.

"It is a lot [of snow], and where are you going to put it, and you can't put it in the street, you're not supposed to, so we gave them the benefit and gave them a lot longer time," Shelley Metzler, West York's borough council president, said.

Other residents said it was a safety concern and felt the borough provided enough warning.

"In the borough, there's a lot of kids that have to walk to school and if the sidewalks aren't clear, they have to walk on the street," Jim Markel said. "That's not a good thing."