Not shoveling GR sidewalks could cost cold, hard cash

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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.

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8 comments

  • NO PC FOR ME

    GR has become a mini California. its not your fault if you fall down, its someone else.
    Don’t the residents pay taxes to have streets and sidewalks maintained ? So the people of GR get hosed twice…
    Do the fines go to the victims of falls or in the city coffers ? Yeah…of course.
    And there is no exemptions for the elderly or disabled….ask a friend? really.
    That’s discrimination.
    I wonder, will the homes on hall street are surrounding area be held to the same standards as the historic district… bet not.

    It all works until you run out other peoples money

  • Melinda

    You can let everyone know about this but the problem with this is that they do not go out and enforce the city ordinance. We have “Odd” and “Even” Parking which has been in effect since November but the police department doesn’t do anything about it. They only enforce it when they want to because it is only an ordinance. Example: when there is a lot of snow and the plows are needed that’s when they will enforce it otherwise forget about it.

  • Biggy smalls

    GR, the dumbest place to live or visit. Who would live there if you have to clear your own crappy sidewalk.. What a scam, I’m sure most those people don’t work, you think they will clear their sidewalk ?

  • Commonsense

    Hmmm, high taxes and no city services. Grand Rapids, if you want your sidewalks cleaned, you should be doing so along with leaf removal. Seems we have an over abundance of management in city employment getting rich, but not enough Indians to do the work. Chiefs pushing pencils. And, no, this is not a racial comment to be clear! Only an analogy!

    • Bob

      Why should the city shovel your sidewalk or rake your leaves. Get off your butt and take care of your yard. Take a little pride in your home.

  • Commonsense

    One last thing, another waste of money is the 311 phone line. You used to be able to call a department direct and a your work order request would take a couple of days. Now requests take a week or more. What a waste of city funding!

  • Bob

    How hard is it to shovel your sidewalk?
    How hard is it to rake your leaves?
    How hard is it to cut your grass?

    People have become slobs, lazy slobs.

    You know who you are.

    Get off your butt, put down the TV remount and take care of your property.