It won't be long before weather conditions change and residents will be faced with the task of removing snow and ice from residential sidewalks. City officials remind the public of their obligation to keep such areas free from snow and ice.
"As City crews work to clear snow and ice from streets, and local businesses work to clear snow and reduce icy buildup in front of their shops, so too it is important for residents to keep the sidewalks at their homes cleared as well," said Matt Owczarek, Rapid City Code Enforcement Division Supervisor. "It is the obligation of the homeowner to keep their sidewalks safe for pedestrian travel."
City Ordinance 12.12.090 states it is the duty of the homeowner to keep the sidewalk(s) fronting or abutting a lot, parcel or plot of ground free from snow and ice at all times. When it is impossible to take the snow and ice from the walk by reason of it be being frozen to the sidewalk, the owner or occupant shall sprinkle or spread suitable material to prevent the walk from becoming slippery and dangerous to travel.
Sidewalks that are not kept free from snow and ice are declared a nuisance, and upon the failure, neglect or refusal to comply, the owner or occupant may be held in violation. If the snow and ice is not removed within 24 hours, the City can have the area cleared of snow and ice with the costs assessed to the property.
"As many people know, it doesn't take long for a snow-covered sidewalk to turn to ice with even limited traffic," Owczarek said. "With our current warm temperatures, now is the time to make preparations for snow removal around the home for the safety of the homeowner and the public."
Owczarek also reminds the public it is unlawful to place snow upon any public sidewalk, street or other public property (City Ordinance 12.12.100).