The following were among actions taken at the Feb. 16 meeting of the District of Columbia Council.

SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL -- -- The council tabled a bill that would impose a $35 fine on those who do not clear their sidewalks of snow and ice in a timely fashion. In tabling the bill, council members said an effective system of enforcing the measure needs to be developed.

"The Snow and Ice Removal Act of 1988," introduced by Chairman David Clarke, would give the city increased power to levy tickets on property owners who do not clear snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of their property.

As the law stands now, and under the bill, property owners or residents must remove snow or ice from their respective sidewalks within eight hours of daylight after precipitaion ceases.

However, under current law, the city must remove the snow or ice before it can impose a removal fee and a fine of up to $25. Clarke's bill would eliminate the requirement that the city remove the snow before imposing a fine.

Council member Nadine Winter (D-Ward 6), who chairs the Public Works Committee that held public hearings on the bill, introduced an amendment requiring a hearing panel to consider the mitigating factors involving citizens unable to comply because of, "physical, mental or other conditions including age." The amendment would require persons making such claims to present written proof from a physician.

Council memeber Frank Smith Jr. (D-Ward 1), who has referred to the bill as "The Senior Citizens Heart Attack Bill," said the threat of getting a ticket might "send a lot of {seniors} to the sidewalk with their shovels."

Council member H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7) offerred a substitute amendment to Winter's that eliminates the need to appear before a hearing panel, requiring only a physician's statement.

Council member John A. Wilson pointed out that Crawford's proposal, as worded, "exempts everybody... because all of us can figure out that mentally, 'I just cannot go out in the cold today, and my back is definately hurting...'"

Wilson moved that the bill be tabled so that the council could come up with a better way to enforce it. The council by a voice vote agreed.

TRUCKING BILL -- -- The council discussed the "Vehicle Cover Requirement Act of 1988." The bill, introduced by Council member James E. Nathanson (D -- Ward 3), would require a covering on trucks carrying tall loads that are not tied down with a rope or chain or are otherwise unsecured.

The bill applies to open top trucks traveling in the District and carries a penalty of up to $500.

"Each year there are tens of thousands of accidents and subsequent car damage caused by flying debris," Nathanson said.

The bill includes an amendment, by Council member Harry L. Thomas (D -- Ward 5), excluding from the covering requirement those trucks with loads stacked so that the highest point is at least six inches below the top of the truck bed.

Nathanson and council member Winter opposed Thomas' proposal on the grounds that loads often shift while being transported. A load six inches from the top of the bed at the beginning of a trip may slide higher while in transit, perhaps over the top of the truck before the driver reaches his or her destination, the said.

The council voted 6-5 to include Thomas' amendment.

Councilmember Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) was not present during the vote. The measure is scheduled to come up again for review at the March 1 council meeting.