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City Reminds Residents Shoveling Sidewalks is Your Duty

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Now the snow is behind us, the clean up begins for many in southwest Missouri. Springfield's Public Works Department says some of the responsibility for clearing snow is yours. And it may be more than you think.
We've got 570 miles of sidewalks in the city and it would take probably 400-600 people
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. --  Now the snow is behind us, the clean up begins for many in southwest Missouri.
Springfield's Public Works Department says some of the responsibility for clearing snow is yours.  But it may be more than you think.

Jamie Haslett has spent each morning since last week's winter storm shoveling snow off a piece of property that isn't even hers.
"Some people can not do it themselves especially elderly. They need somebody to help clean the sidewalks for them," said Haslett, while shoveling snow herself.

Phil Broyles, director of Public Works, says its the home owners responsibility, according to City Code 98-74.
"By city ordinance, adjacent property owners are responsible for cleaning the sidewalks in front of their house or business," said Broyles.

He says it would take hundreds employees to clean all the sidewalks in the city.
"With the number of sidewalks, we've got 570 miles of sidewalks in the city and it would take probably 400-600 people."

Although they don't enforce it, he says shoveling your sidewalks for those using it most is the right thing to do.
"It also helps the mail carrier and the people that have to use the sidewalks to get to work and people in wheel chairs," said Broyles.

The city relies on neighbors when it comes to helping the elderly and those who can't do it.
"The best thing the city relies on is the neighbor to neighbor project, where people know who in their neighborhood is elderly and just can not physically do that work can help out."

As for plans to change it, he says Springfield does more than most cities when it comes to sidewalks.
"In a lot of cities, even the maintenance and repair of the sidewalks belong to the property owners."

Jaime says being from Colorado, she'll trade shoveling snow for the winter wonderland any day.
"We are used to doing this, but its fun and hard, its good to make sure that everybody is safe," Haslett said.

And public works suggest when you are shoveling the sidewalk to push it towards your yard and not the street.
   They say that will keep it from being pushed back onto the walk way from snow plows.
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