Assemblywoman ANGELA V. MCKNIGHT
District 31 (Hudson)
Assemblyman JAMEL C. HOLLEY
District 20 (Union)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblyman ERIC HOUGHTALING
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblyman NICHOLAS CHIARAVALLOTI
District 31 (Hudson)
Assemblywoman ANNETTE QUIJANO
District 20 (Union)
Establishes municipal volunteer programs for free removal of snow from certain residential properties occupied by seniors or disabled persons.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act establishing municipal volunteer snow removal programs and supplementing chapter 65 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. Each municipality shall establish a volunteer program for free removal of snow and ice from the entrance ways, driveways, and abutting sidewalks of qualified residential properties within the municipality that are occupied by seniors or disabled persons.
b. The governing body of each municipality shall appoint a coordinator to administer the volunteer program. The coordinator shall be responsible for recruiting and assigning volunteers to conduct snow and ice removal under the volunteer program.
c. (1) The coordinator and volunteers of a volunteer program shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to request assistance and avail themselves of the personnel, facilities, and equipment of the municipality as may be required and as may be made available for the purposes of the volunteer program. The coordinator and volunteers shall not be considered employees or agents of the municipality, and shall not be entitled to worker’s compensation or any other benefits in the event of injury as a result of participation in the volunteer program, and shall not be entitled to indemnification by the municipality.
(2) The coordinator and volunteers of a volunteer program shall be immune from suit and liability for any claim for damage to or loss of property, personal injury, or other civil liability caused by any action or inaction that occurred during the course, or as a result of, snow and ice removal under the volunteer program; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not be construed to protect a coordinator or volunteer from suit and liability for damage to or loss of property, personal injury, or other civil liability caused by the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of that person.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of the “New Jersey Tort Claims Act,” N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., a municipality, or any employee or agent thereof, shall not be held liable in any civil action to any person for any claim for damage to or loss of property, personal injury, or other civil liability that may be caused or sustained by a coordinator or volunteer of a volunteer program during the course, or as a result of, snow and ice removal under the volunteer program.
d. Each municipality shall post on its Internet website, if any, and include in appropriate community notices, newsletters, or other communications made to municipal residents, if any, information about the volunteer program, including the possible availability of free snow and ice removal for seniors and disabled persons, the opportunity to serve as a volunteer, and appropriate contact information for the volunteer program. Each municipality shall also provide this information to the school board of each school district operating within the municipality for it to be shared with the student body of each such school district.
e. As used in this section:
“Disabled person” means a person having an impairment which is expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration and substantially impedes the person’s ability to live independently unless the person receives supportive services.
“Driveway” means a private roadway providing access to a public street or highway, including any pathway necessary to access the driveway from a qualified residential property.
“Dwelling unit” means a detached house, townhouse, apartment, cooperative, condominium, mobile home, or any other similar habitable structure.
“Entrance way” means a private pathway providing access to the abutting sidewalks from a qualified residential property.
“Private community” means a residential condominium, cooperative, fee simple community, horizontal property regime, or mobile home park comprised of a community trust or other trust device, condominium association, homeowners’ association, or council of co-owners.
“Qualified residential property” means a dwelling unit occupied by a senior or disabled person, except for a rental unit, the lease of which requires the landlord to provide snow and ice removal equivalent to that provided under a volunteer program, or a unit in a private community, the governing documents of which require the entity responsible for managing the common elements and facilities of the community to provide snow and ice removal equivalent to that provided under a volunteer program.
“Senior” means any person 62 years of age or older.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would require each municipality to establish a volunteer program for the free removal of snow and ice from the entrance ways, driveways, and abutting sidewalks of residential properties in the municipality that are occupied by seniors and disabled persons. The bill would provide an avenue for seniors and disabled persons to connect with volunteers in their communities who can help clear out any snow and ice so that seniors and disabled persons may safely enter and exit their homes and carry on their usual activities in the aftermath of severe winter weather.
The bill requires each municipality to appoint a coordinator to administer the volunteer program. The coordinator would recruit volunteers to conduct the snow and ice removal under the program. The volunteers and the municipality would generally be immune from suit for snow and ice removal under the program.
The municipality would be required to post information about the volunteer program on its Internet website, if any exists, and in appropriate community notices, newsletters, or other communications made to municipal residents, if any exist. The municipality would also be required to share information about the program with the local schools to share with their student bodies, as students may provide a good source of volunteers.
It is the intention of the sponsor that this bill establish a purely volunteer program, not a municipal or governmental entity, that does not incur any costs to the municipality or to the recipients of its snow and ice removal services.