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City of Toledo: Shovel sidewalks or face $75 fine

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The city of Toledo is warning residents to shovel their sidewalks...or else.

City code enforcement inspectors will be looking for areas still untouched Tuesday, including commercial properties, that have become a nuisance. Officials urge neighbors to help shovel each other's property to get the job done.

City law requires residents to remove snow from sidewalks in the right of way within 24 hours of a snowfall. Those who do not comply can be fined $75.

The city says it will focus on primary streets where there is a TARTA bus route.

"Pedestrians use the public right of way to access businesses and grocery stores, and need the public right of way to be clear to sustain their everyday life," explained Toledo Code Enforcement Manager Dennis Kennedy.

The mayor's office released the following exert from the city's Municipal Code:

521.01. Removal of snow and ice from walks.

The occupants of each single residential, commercial or industrial property and the owner of any multiple residential, commercial or industrial property or of any unoccupied or unimproved property, abutting upon public walks shall clear the walk of snow, ice, dirt, or any other debris within twenty-four hours after such deposit.

Kennedy says the city has given people plenty of time, considering how much snow has fallen, but the bottom line is sidewalk conditions need to improve. Inspectors are taking photos to document sidewalk conditions and warnings are being issued to property owners where sidewalks have not been shoveled.

"We are issuing warnings to business owners and property owners that the snow needs to be removed, the public right of way needs to be clear, especially on transportation routes and school walking routes," said Kennedy. "Those warnings carry a 72-hour time frame. Then a follow-up inspection will be performed. At the follow-up inspection, if compliance is still not met, they will be issued a fine, which is $75."

Marvin Taylor hopes the threat of a fine will be enough to improve conditions for pedestrians.

"I need to get to school and do what I need to do, and it's really hard to get up and down these roads," said Taylor.

The city will turn its focus to residential areas by the end of the week and into early next week.

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