Town of Ghent, NY
Columbia County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ghent as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-13-1976 by L.L. No. 1-1976]
No civil action shall be maintained against the Town of Ghent or the Town Superintendent of Highways of the Town, or against any improvement district in the Town for damages or injuries to person or property (including those arising from the operation of snowmobiles) sustained by reason of any highway, bridge, culvert, highway marking, sign or device, or any other property owned, operated or maintained by the Town or any property owned, operated or maintained by any improvement district therein, being defective, out of repair, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed unless written notice of such defective, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed condition of such highway, bridge, culvert, highway marking, sign or device, or any other property owned, operated or maintained by the Town, or any property owned, operated or maintained by any improvement district, was actually given to the Town Clerk of the Town or the Town Superintendent of Highways of the Town, and there was thereafter a failure or neglect within a reasonable time to repair or remove the defect, danger or obstruction complained of; and no such action shall be maintained for damages or injuries to persons or property sustained solely in consequence of the existence of snow or ice upon any highway, bridge, culvert or any other property owned by the Town or any property owned by any improvement district in the Town unless written notice thereof, specifying the particular place, was actually given to the Town Clerk of the Town or the Town Superintendent of Highways of the Town and there was a failure or neglect to cause such snow or ice to be removed or to make the place otherwise reasonably safe within a reasonable time after the receipt of such notice.
No civil action will be maintained against the Town and/or the Town Superintendent of Highways of the Town for damages or injuries to person or property sustained by reason of any defect in the sidewalks of the Town or in consequence of the existence of snow or ice upon any of its sidewalks, unless such sidewalks have been constructed or are maintained by the Town or the Superintendent of Highways of the Town pursuant to statute, nor shall any action be maintained for damages or injuries to person or property sustained by reason of such defect or in consequence of such existence of snow or ice unless written notice thereof, specifying the particular place, was actually given to the Town Clerk of the Town or to the Town Superintendent of Highways of the Town and there was a failure or neglect to cause such defect to be remedied, such snow or ice to be removed, or to make the place otherwise reasonably safe within a reasonable time after the receipt of such notice.
[Amended 4-27-2000 by L.L. No. 1-2000]
The Town Superintendent of Highways of the Town shall transmit, in writing, to the Town Clerk of the Town within 10 days after receipt thereof, all written notices received by him pursuant to this article, and he shall take any and all corrective action with respect thereto as soon as practicable.
[Amended 4-27-2000 by L.L. No. 1-2000]
The Town Clerk shall keep an indexed record, in a separate book, of all written notices which he or she shall receive of the existence of a defective, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed condition in or upon or of an accumulation of snow or ice upon any Town highway, bridge, culvert or sidewalk, which record shall state the date of the receipt of the notice, the nature and location of the condition stated to exist and the name and address from whom the notice is received. All such written notices shall be indexed according to the location of the alleged defective, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed condition or the location of accumulated snow or ice. The record of each notice shall be preserved for a period of five years after the date it is received.
Nothing contained in this article shall be held to repeal or modify or waive any existing requirement or statute of limitations but, on the contrary, shall be held to be additional requirements to the rights to maintain such action. Nothing contained herein shall be held to modify any existing rule of law relative to the question of contributory negligence, nor to impose upon the Town, its officers and employees, and/or any of its improvement districts, any greater duty or obligations than that it shall keep its streets, sidewalks and public places in a reasonably safe condition for public use and travel.
[Adopted 10-17-1996 by L.L. No. 3-1996]
[Amended 7-16-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
A. 
It shall, in all cases, be the duty of the owner or occupant of any premises adjoining any street in the Town of Ghent where a sidewalk has been laid to keep such sidewalk in good repair and free and clear of snow, ice, dirt and any other material, substance or obstruction. For the purpose of snow and ice removal, such sidewalk shall be clear the entire length and width thereof. It shall be the duty of such owner to utilize ashes, sand, sawdust, salt or other material to be spread thereon in connection with the requirements set forth herein. The owner and the occupant of such premises shall be jointly and severally responsible for compliance with the provisions hereof.
B. 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Town of Ghent at all times maintains the right, but not the obligation, to remove snow and ice from the sidewalks within the Town, and to apply salt, sand, and/or any other material or substance to the sidewalks within the Town, at its option, whenever it deems it necessary and appropriate to do so. This right on the part of the Town does not relieve the ongoing duty of the owner or occupant of any premises adjoining any street in the Town of Ghent where a sidewalk has been laid to keep such sidewalk free and clear of snow and ice.
The owner or occupant of any such premises referred to herein shall be liable for any injury or damage by reason of omission, failure or negligence to maintain or repair such sidewalk or to remove snow, ice or other obstructions therefrom, or for a violation or nonobservance of this article. Such liability shall inure to the benefit of the Town as well as to the individual sustaining such injury or damage.
No person, firm or other entity shall plow, shovel, sweep, heap up or in any other manner deposit or place snow, ice, slush or other material or substance on any street or any other public place in the Town of Ghent.
No person, firm or other entity shall dig into or under any sidewalk or remove, displace or carry away any dirt, soil, concrete or other material of which the sidewalk may be constructed, except when the Superintendent of Highways of the Town of Ghent shall have approved the same.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $250. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this article shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct violation herein. For purposes of enforcement, the Building Inspector or the Town Superintendent of Highways shall have the authority to file a complaint charging the appropriate party with a violation of this article before the appropriate court of law. The failure to file such complaint shall not, in any manner, affect the liability of the owner or occupant with regard to injury or damages sustained by reason of negligence, omission or failure to comply with the provisions of this article.