- Associated Press - Sunday, February 9, 2014

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Benton Harbor residents and business owners could be saddled with fines if they neglect to clear snow-covered sidewalks.

Many cities across the state have seen record snowfall this winter and below-freezing temperatures that have not allowed much of the snow to melt.

In Benton Harbor, located in southwestern Michigan, mounds of snow have left some walkways impassable.

City building official Van Thornton told the Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph for a story published (https://bit.ly/Np7pal ) Sunday that he knocked on doors Friday, asking people to shovel their walks. He also left notices warning those who weren’t home or at their shops to clear the snow or face a ticket.

Thornton noted that some with snow-covered sidewalks have cleared driveways.

“The fact that they can do their driveways is indicative that they can get something done,” he said. “We’re not trying to create more issues. We’re trying to get people to comply.”

The ordinance isn’t new and has been on the city’s books for a while, Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower said.

“If we don’t say something, nothing will get done,” he said.

But enforcement is coming with compassion because some seniors are unable to shovel their walks, the mayor added.

“When I was a kid, that’s how I made money,” said Hightower. “We were delighted when it snowed like this because we’d grab our shovels and we’d be out making $5 a sidewalk and driveway. I haven’t seen any young people out with shovels.”

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Information from: The Herald-Palladium, https://www.heraldpalladium.com


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