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December 07, 2017 06:05 PM

Sioux Falls Inspectors Start Issuing Warnings For Snowy Sidewalks

Sioux Falls homeowners who didn't get around to shoveling this week now run the risk finding a warning ticket posted on their front door. City inspectors have started responding to complaints about snowy sidewalks. 

The 48 hour grace period to clear your sidewalks ended Thursday morning. So that means the clock is ticking on people who never bothered to shovel. 

Sioux Falls homeowners with snowy sidewalks are on notice.

"It's got to present a safe walking surface," Chief Property Maintenance Inspector Kelly Boysen said.

Snow packed and icy sidewalks present a hazard to winter walkers.

"Kids getting to school, we have elderly people that depend on walking to the store or disabled need to get around," Boysen said.

City inspector Kelly Boysen delivers a warning ticket to the front door of violators.

"Sometimes they give excuses and it's things you know, we feel bad about, you know, they're not feeling good or they're hurt we get that.  Sometimes, I don't feel good too, you know," Boysen said.

So far, the city has received only about a dozen early complaints.

"There are quite a few repeat customers but a lot of that can be because of foreclosed kind of homes," Boysen said.

But a complaint at one home, can lead to a warning at another.

"If we go to a place and we get a complaint on one place and neighbors or somebody across the street hasn't cleaned, we'll take the initiative to let them know as well," Boysen said.

PERRY GROTEN:  Some people thought the sun was going to be their friend and melt whatever snow was on their sidewalk.  But it was just too cold for that to happen.

"And they're going to be kind of hard-packed, crusty ice that's kind of what that snow was with the ground temperature the way it was when it hit, it just kind of froze," Boysen said.

And that frozen crust makes it an even tougher chore to shovel and avoid a ticket.

People who received a warning today have 24 hours to remove the snow.  If they fail to meet the deadline, they'll be fined $100.  

If you'd like to report a snowy sidewalk, call the city's hotline at 978-6900.

To read the city ordinance on a homeowner's duty for clearing snow, click here

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