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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Think of your neighbors, think of your pocketbooks--remember to shovel your sidewalk

As we’re all well aware, the winter season is upon us.  Along with the Vulcanus Rex, King Boreas and Crashed Ice, snow will be a large part of being a Saint Paulite for the next few months.  Minnesotans know that getting around in the winter can, at times, be difficult.  This is especially true for our senior citizens and folks who are disabled.  It is important that we do all we can to make everyone’s travel along sidewalks safe  – be it a walk to the park, the bus stop, a local business, or school. 

Saint Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspections wants to take this time to remind property owners that the responsibility to shovel your full sidewalk, from edge to edge, falls to you within 24 hours after the end of a snowfall. For corner lots or businesses on corners, it’s essential that you shovel the corner ramp all the way to the street. Please—when you’re shoveling, think of your neighbors in wheelchairs, and consider if they can make it through easily.

DSI received more than 3,000 complaints during last year’s snow season (from November to the end of March) about un-shoveled sidewalks. When we get these complaints, we send reminder letters to the folks who haven’t shoveled, and most of them comply. But for the few hundred who don’t, the city clears their sidewalks—and it isn’t cheap for the property owners. Fees to shovel the sidewalk run at $160 per hour, and the administration fee is just as much. (You can view the legislative code here.)

So this year, be sure to think of your neighbors and your pocketbooks, and help make Saint Paul the most livable city in America by shoveling your sidewalk.

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