Central Ohio has been blessed with a milder-than-usual winter thus far, but subzero temperatures, ice and snow might be just around the corner.

With that in mind, Worthington leaders are advising residents and business owners to take precautions and be prepared to follow the rules for snow removal within the city when the flurries finally arrive.

Although the city is responsible for removing snow and ice from roads, property owners are responsible for clearing snow from their sidewalks within 12 hours of a snow event.

According to Worthington's snow-removal policy, if the city receives a formal complaint regarding snow removal, Dan Whited, the city's director of service and engineering, will issue a warning. If the incident is not resolved within 24 hours, the resident will be issued a fee.

City spokesperson Anne Brown said the fee would be assessed if the city were to send employees to remove the snow and ice, and the rate would be determined by the time taken to complete the job.

"The cost would be based on the hourly rate of the employee doing the work and other associated expenses to the city," she said.

Residents are advised to keep other safety aspects in mind, too.

Snow should not be shoveled into the street; vehicles should be kept off the street when the roads require treating for ice and snow; and residents should shovel snow to the side of their driveways on the "far side" of traffic flow, according to the snow-removal policy.

If a property owner's mailbox is damaged from a snowplow, the owner should contact the city's service and engineering department for a possible replacement, but certain criteria must be met. The mailbox's front facing must be 6 inches from the curb, the wooden or metal post must be free of deterioration and metal-support hardware must be free of rust and damage. For information or to report a damaged mailbox, call 614-431-2425.

If the mailbox is compliant with the criteria, a work order will be placed for the mailbox and a technician will make temporary repairs so mail can be received. A "proof-of-loss" form will be provided to the owner to complete, and the homeowner would be reimbursed for the cost of replacement, according to the snow-removal policy.

For more information on the city's snow-removal policy, go to worthington.org/301/snow-removal.

ominnier@thisweeknews.com

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