Not shoveling GR sidewalks could cost cold, hard cash

Posted at 11:02 PM, Jan 05, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. --Not shoveling your sidewalk this winter could cost you more than a couple slips and falls; it might eat at your wallet as well.

The City of Grand Rapids issued a reminder to residents to ensure that their sidewalks are cleared of any snow or ice that the season may bring.

James Willits said city sidewalks have been a real pain this new year.

"I’m walking down the sidewalks, I’m slipping and falling everywhere I go," said Willits.

Officials tell FOX 17, Grand Rapids residents who fail to clear their sidewalks, could cost them over $100.

If the ice isn't removed  when it's fresh, it becomes very difficult to remove.

The ice has proven to be dangerous to many of us, but especially to one westsider who said she suffered a concussion after a spill on the ice.

"The neighbors hadn’t shoveled... I slid on the ice and was out like a light," said Anastacia Oldenbroek.

On Tuesday, we talked to Steve Guitar with the City of Grand Rapids about the problem at hand.

"We want all of our residents and visitors to be able to move around town," said Guitar.

Complaints filed into the City of Grand Rapids can get area residents a written notice.

"Our purpose isn't to give violations and have a contractor and clear it. We like to have people to voluntarily comply and clear their sidewalks," said Guitar.

If a contractor has to clean a resident's sidewalk it can cost $25 for every 15 minutes of labor.

"We had about 3,000 complaints last year only had to clear about 300 of those," said Guitar.

It's something James Willits said should be strictly enforced.

"I think they should write more tickets to make people shovel,"said Willits.

If you are a Grand Rapids resident you should have received a winter preparedness briefing in the mail. Also if you come across a sidewalk that hasn't been cleared 24 hours after snowfall you can file a complaint by calling 3-1-1.