Homeowners Responsible For Clearing Snow Left at End of Sidewalks


It's a problem that's piling on in neighborhoods across Mid-Michigan.

Whether near sidewalk entrances or at the ends of driveways, some homeowners tell us they feel like they're fighting a losing battle once the plows come through their neighborhoods.

The problem is even worse for homeowners like Mark Harvey, who owns a corner lot and has to shovel the corner ramp-ways after the city pushes more snow from the street onto them.

"It doesn't really seem right that we have to account for all the plow-back," Harvey said.

"I realize they're taxed for time, but a little common sense would save a lot of work and a lot of people aren't always as able-bodied enough to do this so I don't know what they do."

But Lansing ordinance states "any public sidewalk adjacent to" the property must be cleared by the homeowner, especially those properties that are corner lots.

"It just piles up and piles up so it's hard for other people in this area to get to it," said Cullen Smith who was shoveling the sidewalks outside his grandparent's home on a corner lot in Lansing.

Failure to get rid of the big, icy and in some cases several-feet-high piles could results in fines from the city and even more costs if the city has to hire a service to come clear the snow.

It's an issue Lansing city council member Carol Wood would like to solve given the unusual and relentless winter weather this year.

"What's happened is these mounds on the corner have become mountains," Wood said. "I mean, we're talking you need a a jackhammer, a chisel, a front-end loader, it is something that the average person cannot get through and I think that's what the issue is."

Wood addressed the issue during Monday night's city council meeting.

Randy Hannan, chief of state for Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, said the city is aware of the issue and is currently working to address it.

Hannan said it will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and a homeowner must file a claim with the city's public service department, even if they've already received a notice.

"We're working with individuals based principally on filed complaints," Hannan said during Monday night's meeting.

"The city can come out to evaluate to if it's something they can address of if it will be up to the homeowner."

The snow has also caused problems for mail delivery in some neighborhoods too.

Specifically in the Westside neighborhood, residents claimed they're mail service was being sporadically interrupted.

Sabrina Todd, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service's Greater Lansing district said they had received complaints Monday they were looking into but couldn't validate the specifics of the complaints.

"We're looking into it and appreciate our customer's concerns," Todd said.

"This have been a very challenging winter for our carriers but they've been making great efforts in getting the mail delivered to all our customers."

Todd said they encourage customers to call 1-800-ASK-USPS to file a complaint so it can be investigated.


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