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Common Council approves local law pertaining to fees

JOHNSTOWN — The Common Council last week approved a local law amending the City Code of Ordinances.

Approved at City Hall was an amendment to Chapter 18 that pertains to streets, sidewalks and public places.

The resolution approved by the council pertains to three articles.

The first article relates to fees and exceptions related to injury to openings in streets and curb cuts. The city engineer will collect fees for the following permits: street opening — $40 with additional fees of $5 per square foot of excavated area and $5 per excavation identification tag; curb cut — flat rate of $30; and driveway — flat rate of $30. Exceptions for the permit fee would be the town of Johnstown.

Any person who tears up the pavement of any street or digs any hole or trench in any street has to restore the street and pavement to a “good condition” as it was before. The area has to be maintained for two years after. The changes also say work has to be relaid and holes refilled to the satisfaction of the city engineer.

Another article to the ordinance changes relates to construction and repair of sidewalks. There is a permit prerequisite to commencing work — a fee. The city engineer will collect a flat rate fee of $30 for construction or repair of sidewalks.

Removal of snow and ice by owners is also the subject of a separate article. In case an owner or occupant of a premises in the city refuses or neglects to clean sidewalks of snow and ice within a certain time, the city engineer will notify the person by mail that they have 48 hours to comply. If they don’t comply, the city Department of Public Works will clean the sidewalks and bill the property owner $150 for property less than one-third acre and $300 for property one-third acre or more. The property owner then has 30 days from the date of the bill to pay.

In other council business, Mayor Vern Jackson made two mayoral appointments. Longtime city Planning Board Chairman Peter K. Smith was reappointed to the board through March 21, 2023. Pamela Hammer was appointed to the city Zoning Board of Appeals.

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