Aldermen Re-Think Snow Shoveling Ordinance

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Messy, snow covered sidewalks have forced many of us to walk in the roadway this winter, a trend Rockford aldermen want to end.

Some aldermen want to re-think whether to hand out fines to homeowners who don’t remove snow from around their homes. Business owners get fined $100 if they don't clear the walks about their shops within 24 hours of a snowfall. There's nothing like that for homeowners, though a city ordinance does ask people to clear snow near their homes. Some Rockford aldermen are considering following in the footsteps of other cities, like Beloit, where homeowners have 48 hours after a snowfall to shovel. If they don’t, there could be $100 fine. Some aldermen think this conversation needs to happen for the safety of pedestrians around town.

"I had seen children walking in the street on a very icy snowy street and I said, that should not be, they should be up on the walks. They couldn’t be on the walks, they'd be buried on the walks,” says 10th Ward Alderman Frank Beach. “Obviously other communities have gone through this and they've made some rules to it so we need to look at it and see if this is good for Rockford."

There’s a lot of factors to consider including how much time should homeowners have to comply, how much would a fine be, would it be automatic or based on complaints and what to do about foreclosed or abandoned homes. Alderman Beach says those are some of the things council members will talk over tomorrow.

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