SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The heavy snowfall is bringing back the annual debate over who is responsible for shoveling and clearing different parts of the street.

Across western Massachusetts, problems are still cropping up days after the snow, with uncleared sidewalks and the safety risks they pose.

"If I take the time to do it myself, why doesn’t anybody else do it? It gets dangerous," said William Costa of South Hadley.

Costa said the central part of town is usually pretty clear, but said the danger of snow-covered sidewalks lies on the less-lit, more secluded side streets.

"It just takes that extra maybe 10 minutes to do it and it makes everybody happy and safe," Costa noted.

South Hadley DPW told Western Mass News they haven't begun issuing fines yet for uncleared sidewalks, but according to the town, they were supposed to be cleared within 24 hours of snowfall.

However, with students waiting for the bus or those trying to walk or bike, Costa said obstructed walkways pose a serious safety risk.

"We have kids or just people walking back-and-forth to the store, they have to walk in the street," Costa added.

In Chicopee, firefighters are reminding residents to clean off another important piece of infrastructure: fire hydrants. It's a task that, across western Massachusetts, is left to home and business owners, not first responders.

"If they’re not cleared, I know there could be an emergency with that," Costa said.

It's a conversation that's as inevitable as the first snow fall each season and one that Costa is sick of having.

"It’s early in the season too. We need to try to get on this now," Costa said.

On the South Hadley town website, officials said that homeowners are responsible for clearing their driveways and sidewalks, even if the plows come through and back fill more snow over what you've already cleared.

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