SNOW ORDINANCE: Avoiding A Costly Ticket

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More winter weather left just over an inch of snow in central Iowa Friday night into Saturday morning.

That means residents need to clear those sidewalks to avoid a costly ticket.

Boun Baccam, like many central Iowans woke up early Saturday morning to shovel his sidewalk.

“I’m just trying to clear it up so people can walk through the sidewalk,” Baccam told Channel 13 News.

Unknown to him at the time, his good deed will keep a few dollars in his pocket.

“I had no idea about the ordinance,” said Baccam.

According to Public Works officer Chuck Burrell, 100 Des Moines residents were ticketed for failing to clear their walks after more than a foot of snow blanketed central Iowa last week.

Those residents are out $50 dollars and the fines go up for each violation.

“The second fine is $75 dollars, and the third one is $100 dollars,” said Burrell.

Here’s how the rule works.

You have 48 hours after any measurable snowfall to clear your walk.

After this most recent snow, that means inspectors can start issuing citations at 6 AM Monday morning.

Their schedules may give you a little more time.

“Our inspectors don’t even start working until at least 7 AM,” Burrell told Channel 13 News.

Next, know what counts as a clear sidewalk.

You need to make a noticeable effort and leave a path at least three feet wide.

“If the inspectors go out and can see that you clearly haven’t done anything, at that point, a violation would ensue,” Burrell said.


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