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City Hall Corner

By Mike Womack, City Manager, City of Cedar Springs

Sidewalk snow removal

Well, it’s that time of year again when the changing leaves and their beautiful colors fool us into hoping that maybe this time the “dog days of summer” will last straight through till April. Unfortunately, as all Michiganders know, winter is coming and with it is coming that time when sidewalks will need to be cleared after snow falls.

Some residents have previously wondered if this is the responsibility of the DPW department; especially for those living along the Muskegon St. or Main St. corridors.  According to the City Ordinance (Sec. 32-76), every sidewalk directly in front of your property (both business and residential) is the owner’s responsibility to keep clear of snow and ice build up. This includes both sides for corner lots. The snow removal in the downtown business corridor is paid for by the Downtown Development Authority.

Another common question asked is in what time frame is the snow removal expected to be done?  Normally, per the ordinance, snow removal should occur within 12 hours of the most recent snowfall or by 6 p.m. of the following day if it snows overnight. In extraordinary circumstances, snow should be removed from sidewalks within a reasonable period of time after the snow stops falling.  

When clearing the sidewalks, the snow should be removed to create a clear walking path and cannot be pushed into the street. Pushing the snow into the street and leaving it there is an offense under both local and state law. 

Now is a good time to check on your snow shovels and fire up that snowblower to make sure it is ready for the season. As the snow falls, the temptation to read a good book in front of a roaring fire is strong, but please remember that your sidewalks also need attention. Your neighbors will love you for it! For bonus points, remove snow from around adjoining fire hydrants. The fire department will love you for it!

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