Challenges with ensuring residents shovel their sidewalks

This winter's heavy snowfalls have generated a lot of work for public works departments and a few complaints about property owners not clearing their sidewalks.  City ordinances in Sturgeon Bay and Algoma require property owners to remove snow from sidewalks within 24-hours after a snow storm ends.  Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director Mike Barker says it can be hard reaching those who don't comply because most people have cellphones, which are not listed in telephone directories.  Barker says Sturgeon Bay also has to contend with homes owned by seasonal residents.



Barker says compliance for all property owners is far cheaper than having city crews clear sidewalks and billing property owners $170.  Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says his department has had no complaints about sidewalks still covered by snow.  He adds some property owners have a difficult time complying with the law because they have nowhere to put the snow.



Murphy and Barker say in most cases where municipal crews are dispatched to clear sidewalks they find the property owners clearing the way, just a little later than their neighbors might have liked.

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