Homeowners shovel snowy sidewalks to avoid fines

After heavy lake effect snow coated most of Michiana over the last 48 hours, the clean-up process is still very much underway.

On Tuesday, snow plows attacked secondary roads as homeowners grabbed their shovels and hit neighborhood sidewalks.

The hope is to keep all city sidewalks clear so pedestrians and the handicapped can travel without going into roadways. NewsCenter 16 found that not to be possible at the corner of N. Niles Ave. and St. Vincent St. in South Bend’s Harter Heights neighborhood.

However, conditions were a lot better throughout downtown South Bend. It’s all thanks to a fleet of DTSB Ambassadors working 15 hours a day, to clear some of the city's most heavily traveled sidewalks.

"You hear people saying, ‘Hey great job!’ The walkers, they can get through easily and they smile and they say, ‘Great job guys!’ It feels really good,” DTSB Ambassador Anthony Smith said.

Across town in South Bend’s Twyckenham Hills neighborhood, dozens of homeowners grabbed a shovel not because they wanted to, but because it was the right thing to do.

"I saw a lot of people walking in the streets yesterday when it was snowing really hard. I don't want people to have to do that and risk their lives having to walk somewhere,” homeowner Melinda Shreve said as she catapulted large scoops of snow into her front yard.

Many cities across our area have ordinances which allow them to ticket residents that don't shovel their sidewalks.

*South Bend can fine its citizens $15 for their first offense and $25 for all subsequent violations.

*In Mishawaka, code enforcement can cite homeowners up to $250 per infraction.

*Things are a bit more relaxed in St. Joseph Mich. and Goshen where residents cannot be fined, but are kindly asked to maintain their sidewalks and driveways.

Although home or business-owners was ticketed for failing to shovel last winter, South Bend Code Enforcement says its eyeing repeat offenders and plans to begin issuing fines this month.

South Bend and Mishawaka have assistance programs for elderly and disabled residents who are unable to shovel their sidewalk and short on cash.

People in the Princess City should contact Mishawaka Code Enforcement at: (574) 258-1612

South Bend homeowners should contact the Board of Public Works at: (574) 235-9251

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