Glenwood police ticket snow shovel delinquents; fine goes up to $1K | SummitDaily.com

Glenwood police ticket snow shovel delinquents; fine goes up to $1K

Ryan Summerlin rsummerlin@postindependent.com

Ann Stewart works to clear the snow from her driveway after a night of heavy snowfall.

In an effort to keep Glenwood Springs safely walkable during the winter, the Police Department is ticketing snow shoveling scofflaws who leave their sidewalks covered in snow and ice.

Glenwood police usually don't have to issue this type of ticket, Chief Terry Wilson said Wednesday, but lately they've received complaints about some chronic non-shovelers and have issued a few tickets.

While the fine will be up to the municipal court judge, it could be as high as $1,000, said Wilson.

And it probably won't help if you get a judge who's wandered through your neighborhood and noticed your unshoveled sidewalk, he said. "I'd rather (issue a ticket) than go on an ambulance assist for someone who's gone down on the ice."

Officers are usually pretty generous with a warning or two, but some folks chronically ignore their sidewalks, drawing the attention of neighbors and code enforcement and generating calls to police.

"After a property owner has been contacted a time or two, and if they still don't get the message, unfortunately we have to issue tickets," said the chief.

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The city's snow shoveling ordinance gives property owners 24 hours after the end of a snowfall to clear their sidewalks.

"That's a fairly generous time frame, and I wouldn't want to let it sit and ice over anyway," Wilson said.

While unshoveled walks can be a nuisance for some, for the disabled or elderly, they can be a serious obstacle.

It's especially noticeable when you see everyone walking in the street at certain spots because the roadway is drier and safer than the sidewalk, said Wilson.

"Everyone is trying to encourage pedestrianism in Glenwood, and that's going to be especially important with the upcoming bridge complications," he noted.

In the case of a rental property, police usually try to deal with the resident first, but that can become complicated in the case of a multiple-unit complex.

So ultimately, the responsibility falls to the property owner, and it's on them to manage their tenants, he said.