City looks into prohibiting putting debris on sidewalks and streets
By Taylor Hale
STEVENS POINT – City leaders approved a motion that prohibits the placement of debris on streets and sidewalks. The decision was made during a public works meeting on July 12.
Alder Shaun Morrow said that the change is a common courtesy, similar to not blowing snow into the street or someone else’s yard. Mayor Mike Wiza noted that blowing debris in the street can be a public safety concern by blocking storm drains, and can cause hazards to motorcycles and bikers.
City staff noted that they understand the bulk of citizens who sweep or blow debris from their yard into the street and sidewalk are not doing so maliciously but said they feel the ordinance change is necessary.
“When allowed to be placed in the street, this debris can block storm structure inlets as well as stormwater mains which contribute to localized flooding,” said Director of Public Works Scott Beduhn.
“Whenever you have a rule, there is a scale of how severe of a violation you are looking at is, and where is your threshold going to be for even issuing a warning,” said Attorney Beverage. “You might have someone with a push broom who is moving the maple buds that drop off in the spring into the gutter, versus a paid landscaping contractor using a leaf blower to blow leaves into the street. Those are quantitatively different situations.”
If approved a citation could be issued for disobeying the ordinance. City leaders are planning on sending out notifications to residents to inform them of the change if the ordinance is fully adopted.