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Webster Post
  • A difficult delivery in Canandaigua

  • After a mild winter last year, snow and ice has returned in large amounts this year. With the reintroduction of winter elements, a problem faced by some Canandaigua postal carriers has also emerged once again.

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  • After a mild winter last year, snow and ice has returned in large amounts this year. With the reintroduction of winter elements, a problem faced by some Canandaigua postal carriers has also emerged once again.
    Sidewalks and steps that have yet to be cleared of snow and ice have been an issue for mailmen and women, said Canandaigua Postmaster Bob Propester. He added that one postal worker was injured recently while slipping on the ice.
    “It’s one of the largest single issues involving safety (that postal carriers face),” Propester said.
    He said that large amounts of snow around residents' mailboxes have also added difficulty to those trying to deliver the mail.
    According to the city's municipal code, snow and ice must be removed from the sidewalks adjoining the owner’s property within 24 hours after the end of a snowfall. The ordinance — which was passed in 2004 — also states that sidewalks in front of commercial establishments and commercial parking lots must be free of snow and ice at all times between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Although the city doesn’t require the area around a mailbox to be cleared, Propester says it’s a problem if it can’t be accessed.
    If a property owner fails to remove the snow and ice within the time limit, the city’s public works department will be notified and do the removal themselves.
    According to the ordinance, after the snow and ice is removed, the clerk/treasurer will be notified and will bill the owner for the removal.
    The city doesn’t have an employee patrolling the area and looking for violations of this ordinance. The public works department is notified about a violation only if a complaint is called in. Bryan White, the city’s assistant city manager said very few calls have come in about an icy or snowy sidewalk.
    “It’s complaint-driven,” White said of the process. “We investigate, go out, take pictures, and send a notice that they have 24 hours to clear the sidewalk.”
    He added that the city didn’t receive any complaints last year.
    While a lot of complaints have not been issued, Propester said it has indeed been a problem, and not just this year, either. He said postal workers have also been injured in past years due to slipping on an unsafe walkway.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I told the carriers to simply bring the mail back if they can’t get (to their location) safely,” Propester said.
    In Canandaigua, Propester said they have about 35 to 40 carriers and 27 routes. If an injury does occur, it is hard to replace that employee.
    “We have carriers go down and don’t have people to cover them,” he said.
     

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