Dozens ticketed for not clearing sidewalks

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – So far this year, winter has dumped nearly 39 inches of snow in the Lafayette area. Even with that all that snow, residents are still expected to clear their sidewalks. Those who don’t could face a fine of $50 a day.

“I’m ready for spring,” said Matt Ekola.

After picking at ice all day Friday, who could blame Ekola? News 18 caught up with him trying to clear a sidewalk after another round was dumped on Tuesday.

“I’m trying to clear off the back steps here because we have some materials coming in a little bit later and right now it’s like a ski slope,” said Ekola.

While Ekola is trying to get rid of that ski slope, Lafayette Engineering Technician Stanley Knight is out looking for other ski slopes around businesses and homes, otherwise known as unclear sidewalks.

“We want to take care of them immediately to keep pedestrians out of the street,” said Knight.

Sidewalks must be cleared within six hours after a snow or ice event. If a sidewalk in front of a house or business has not been shoveled, Knight will either send a letter, knock on doors or leave a message hanging on the door.

In fact, he said he sent out 30 letters to businesses Friday morning alone.

He said so far this year, the city has only issued one $50 citation this year for snow removal. He said because of the cold temperatures, the city has been a little more lenient. But he’s still on the lookout.

“We have people who are disabled or elderly who can’t do their walks and then you have other people who able to do but don’t put forth the effort to clean their sidewalks off.  Those are the people that will be seeing me,” said Knight.

And although they might be seeing Knight, they might not be getting a ticket. He said usually once he makes contact with a business or homeowner, they comply.

“It is not our intent to fine people. It is out intent to get the sidewalks clean to keep the pedestrians safer on the walks and out of the streets,” said Knight.

While Knight is playing his part to keep pedestrians safer, Ekola has sunshine and warm temps on his mind.

“I’m ready to go to Florida,” said Ekola.

Across the river, West Lafayette Code Enforcement Supervisor Rick Walker said the city has issued about 30 tickets so far this year. In January, the city’s Neighborhood Resource Team received 548 calls. Walker said 480 of those were related to snow removal. He said since Feb. 1, there’s been about 50 snow removal calls.

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