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Cities remind residents: Clear your sidewalks

11:19 PM, Jan 7, 2014   |    comments
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ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Home and business owners have been busy trying to keep up with all of the snow, but there is a reminder to shovel your sidewalks. The city of Rockford just sent out what it calls a "friendly reminder" to follow the ordinance.

WZZM News caught up with Rich Moll who was shoveling his sidewalk Tuesday morning. "First of all, it's a city ordinance. The other thing is that it's safer for people and I enjoy it."

For many communities in West Michigan, it's not an option. In Rockford, the ordinance states that you have 24 hours after a snowfall to clear your sidewalks. If not, the city will do it for you and charge you for the labor.

Tracy Payne was also busy shoveling her sidewalk. "It's important; we have a lot of people out walking, running-- it's a lot safer than being in the streets."

But despite the ordinance, some people still don't grab their shovel. WZZM talked to one homeowner who said he has back problems and relies on his neighbor to do it. It was obvious that the sidewalks hadn't been cleared.

"If they can't, they should make an effort to have somebody do it for them," says Payne.

The city of Rockford says as soon as students head back to school, the city will likely send volunteers out, looking for offenders. The city of Grand Rapids has a similar ordinance. It recently said that it will not be enforcing the sidewalk rules until the cold snap is over.

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