What happens if a sidewalk isn't cleared off

Jan. 22, 2013

In the early part of last week, many stretches of sidewalk in Waukesha were covered with ice and snow. While the weather event that caused the coating was not a major one, the thin layer of ice it left behind was not going to go away on its own.

The City of Waukesha has an ordinance requiring property owners to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice within 12 hours after the snow and ice have ceased to fall. The city relies on citizens to report violations of the ordinance, said Dale Evans, a city engineering technician.

When a violation is reported, a city inspector goes out to inspect, and, if a violation is confirmed, will leave a door hanger informing the property owner that he or she has twelve hours to clear the sidewalk. The inspector also usually checks out the area surrounding the address of the initial complaint, and will leave door hangers at other properties found to be in violation of the ordinance.

The inspector goes back the next day, and if the work still hasn't been done, the city's plowing contractor is sent out to clear the sidewalk. The property owner is later billed for the work at a rate of $2 per linear foot of sidewalk.

To report a property owner for failure to clear a sidewalk, call the city at (262) 524-3600. Make sure you have the address of the violation. If you're calling after hours, leave a recorded message with the information.

What do you want to know? Email your questions to now.you.know@me.com.


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