City Inspector: ‘Shoveling sidewalks keeps neighbors safe’

from Justin Moore, City of Fort Collins senior code compliance inspector. He can be reached at 970-224-6046.

The “Farmers’ Almanac” is predicting a frigid and snowy winter, with an “above-average” amount of snowfall in Colorado. Whether or not this prediction ultimately holds true for Fort Collins, community members should be ready and aware of their responsibilities regarding snow removal.

Sidewalks in the public right-of-way must be shoveled and sufficiently cleared within 24 hours after the accumulation of snow and ice stops.

This applies to any amount of snowfall and/or ice, as even light coverage can pose a potential hazard to the public.

Failure to sufficiently clear the snow within 24 hours may result in property owners being charged for the snow removal. That said, properties will receive one warning per season if sidewalks are not cleared within 24 hours of a snow event before any charges are incurred.

While it is decidedly less expensive to clear the snow yourself as opposed to receiving a bill from a city contractor, the true motivator for most people regarding snow removal is community safety and neighborhood livability.

Letting new neighbors know about snow removal requirements by speaking with them or leaving a friendly note is also encouraged and further enhances the quality of life in your community.

Once 24 hours have passed following a snow accumulation, you can call the Nuisance Hotline at 970-416-2200 to report any observed hazards, or submit a request at fcgov.com/accessfortcollins.

A few tips to help keep your sidewalk safe:

  • ❚ If ice is present, apply snow-melt, sand or kitty litter.
  • ❚ If your property abuts an alley, please shovel to the middle of the alley.
  • ❚ Clearing the sidewalk is much easier before it has been packed down by pedestrian traffic or vehicle tires.
  • ❚ If you are leaving town, please make arrangements with relatives, friends or neighbors – and perhaps offer to return the favor.
  • ❚ Even if the wind blows snow back onto your sidewalk after you’ve cleared it, you’re responsible to keep the surface clear and safe.
  • ❚ If city plows cover your sidewalk with snow, call the Streets Department at 970221-6615 for assistance.

If you have questions or are experiencing ongoing issues around snow removal or sidewalk snow maintenance, feel free to contact your neighborhood’s Code Compliance inspector at 970-224-6046, who will be happy to assist you.

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