Nearly 300 Lansing residents are facing fines of up to $384 for failing to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks this winter.
In all, the city is due to collect $42,888 from violators between Oct. 1, 2013 to Mar. 19, 2014. Those who owe money violated Chapter 1020.06, which requires residents to clear their walks of snow and ice within 24 hours of notification from the city.
"This winter was particularly a doozy," said Council Member Kathie Dunbar, who chairs the Committee of Public Services. "We've got people who are walking to the bus, people in wheelchairs, moms pushing strollers, kids waiting for the school bus and we just really needed to have a passable surface for them."
Properties were assessed fines based on their size. The longer it took for crews to clear the walks, the larger the fine -- workers were paid by the hour.
Fines ranged from $124 to $384. Violators were notified by mail, Dunbar said.
Residents News 10 spoke to say they're not happy with having to pay.
"When it snows you have to do it yourself now?" said Barbra Armstrong, who owes $124. "I didn't think I was in charge of doing anything past the sidewalk. I thought sidewalk and that way is public property."
Marissa Collins, who lives on the city's south side, said the winter was so harsh, it was tough to keep up.
"There was no salt, it was below freezing temperatures, there were so many warning saying we weren't supposed to go outside, I don't understand if it was that big of a deal that they couldn't do it themselves," she said. "It was dangerous. And with it constantly snowing, how are you supposed to keep up with that?
"It's like asking someone to dig an eight-foot hole in 108 degree weather. "
19;41 Think about the folks who had to navigate it who don't have transportation. We have to have mercy on them too.
Those who wish to appeal their fine may do so at a public hearing Jun. 2, which will be held at City Hall at 7 p.m., Dunbar said.
LPD Moving to Hill Center
The City Council approved the Lansing Police Department's move from its North Precinct at 729 May St. to the Hill Center at 5825 Wise Rd.
The council approved the move by a vote of 6-2 with councilmembers Jody Washington and Carol Wood opposing.
The department will move in with the Lansing School District for a few years as it looks for a more permanent home. It rejected a recent offer from its landlord to stay put free of charge.
Mutual Patrol Agreement Approved
The City Council unanimously approved an agreement between the Lansing Police Department and the Ingham County Sheriff's Office.
Unless the Ingham County Board of Commissioners rejects the agreement, which is funded by a state grant, the sheriff will be required to provide traffic patrols when deputies are available.
Commissioners in out-county areas say any aid will further deplete a force that is already stretched thin.
Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth has said he will provide help when he can, but the law does not specify how often deputies respond.