Berlin Residents Have to Clear Sidewalks or Face Service Fees - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Berlin Residents Have to Clear Sidewalks or Face Service Fees

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

BERLIN, Md.- CORRECTION: Berlin residents DON'T have 24-hours to clear off snow-covered sidewalks. But they are required to clear off their sidewalks because it's their responsibility, according to the town charter.

If the owner fails to comply with the order within a reasonable time, the town may do the work, and the expense shall be a lien on the property and shall be collectible in the same manner as are town taxes or by suit at law.

A lot of folks in Worcester County were digging themselves out after a winter storm dumped close to three-inches of snow in the county Tuesday night.

"It's worse than I thought it would be," said Herbert Brittingham, of Berlin, as he shoveled snow off his sidewalk. "I just thought we were get a dusting."

Brittingham and his neighbors in Berlin have to clear their sidewalks or face service fees, according to town law.

"I came out here earlier then stop, then I came back to finish," said Brittingham. The 84-year-old said it took him hours to clear off his sideways.

It was a last-minute dash to clear off Albert Jarmon's sidewalks before the conditions got dangerous for pedestrians. 

"I want to make sure people can get up and down safely," said Jarmon, also of Berlin. "It gets the kids off the road and it makes everything a little safer."

But it's a job made even more difficult by the winds. Some locals tell me the snow wasn't the problem; the wind was the problem. They said just hours after clearing off the sidewalks, the wind would pick up the snow and drop it back onto their sidewalks.

"That's why I don't get out and shovel because I feel like it is frustrating," said Bria Tunnell, of Berlin.

If you're caught breaking the law in Berlin, town officials said crews will clear off your sidewalks then bill you for the service. 

"We're making sure that we're keeping close attention on areas where the snow might blow over," said Berlin Town Administrator Laura Allen. "Crews are going back and snow plowing again. Folks will have to do the same thing with their sidewalks."

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