Yikes. A Hefty Fine for Not Shoveling Your Sidewalk in Billings
The Billings area woke up to a few inches of powdery snow Monday morning (12/5), our second snowfall so far this season that has consisted of more than just a few scattered flurries. We had almost four inches of snow at my place in Laurel at 5 AM this morning and it looks like Billings got about the same amount before the sun popped out at midmorning.
24 hours to shovel your sidewalk.
Most residents are probably aware of the City of Billings' policy regarding snow removal, which basically requires homeowners and businesses within city limits clear snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours of snowfall. Here's the specific ordinance.
Sec. 22-406. - Removal of snow, ice, etc., from sidewalks by abutting property owners.
It shall be the duty of the occupant of any premises within the city limits, or in case such premises are unoccupied, then the owner or his or her agent, to keep the sidewalks in front of and adjoining his or her premises clean and safe for pedestrians, and to repair the same from time to time; and such occupant, owner or agent shall remove snow, ice, mud, slush and other impediment to safe and convenient foot travel, within twenty-four (24) hours after such snow, ice, slush or other impediment accumulates thereon, and prevent the continuance and accumulation of the same.
Read the full ordinance HERE.
And what if you don't?
If the City receives complaints about your sidewalk not being clear of snow and ice, a code enforcement employee might inspect your walkway and you could receive a written notice from the city requesting you comply. KULR 8 reported (in 2014) that failure to clear the snow/ice on your sidewalk "within 5 to 10 days" of receiving your warning could result in a $110 fine.
What if you can't?
The sidewalk snow removal policy does raise concerns about homeowners who, because of age or disability, may not be able to shovel their sidewalks promptly. Unfortunately, the Snow Buddies program - which encouraged volunteers to sign up and assist community members with snow removal - is inactive for this winter season due to a lack of interest, said City of Billings Public Information Officer Victoria Hill.