South Orange Residents Using Smartphone App To Lodge Complaints About Uncleared Sidewalks

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Want to alert officials that your neighbors aren’t clearing their walks? South Orange has an app for that.

As CBS2’s Elise Finch reported, village officials are asking residents this winter to use their smartphones to report dangerous sidewalks.

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So far, they’ve received more than 100 complaints. The app, called SOConnect, allows people to remain anonymous and is easy to use, officials say.

App users can open a new case, type in the address, describe the conditions and submit it. Within hours, someone from the village will go out to verify that there is a problem with the sidewalk and then issue first-time offenders. The homeowner has 24 hours to clean up the sidewalk or face a $100 fine.

Village employees take a look at the complaints and determine if the homeowner is elderly, sick or too infirmed to shovel his or her own property. South Orange has an arrangement with students at Seton Hall University, who will come out and shovel and salt the property for them.

The village also reserves the right to do the clean-up itself and then send the homeowner a bill.

CBS2 talked to some residents who said most homeowners, but not all, do an excellent job of cleaning up. There, however, have been some slips and falls.

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