Maintaining Sidewalks in Winter

Duluthians must clear snow from sidewalks in front of their properties

DULUTH, Minn. – Snow and ice have taken over most of the northland….and that means it’s shovel season. All over the region, people are shoveling and sprinkling salt to keep their sidewalks snow and ice free.

“Year after year it always comes around and we know it’s coming,” says a Duluth shoveler.

Sidewalks all over Duluth are covered with ice and snow.

And unlike the streets, property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks in front of homes and businesses 24 hours after the snow falls .

“If it falls from the sky onto the sidewalk, you’re responsible for it,” says Duluth parks and grounds supervisor, Dale Sellner.

But in Duluth, the city is responsible for removing snow that plows pile onto sidewalks.

“We try to do that to the best of our ability. As resources allow, we’ll go to those areas that have been plowed over by a city plow and remove snow,” says Sellner.

They say that’s a lot to get to, so they need residents to lend them an extra shovel.

“Now that it’s begun to snow again, we’re out there doing our best to take care of the snow and the ice now,” says Eddie Piasecki, general laborer for Common Ground Construction.

If ice and snow isn’t cleared and the city steps in, property owners can be fined.

“We’re not out looking for those violators, I mean we’re not, so it’s really rare that a person is billed for the service but it is something we’ve done in the past,” says Sellner.

The city says, for the most part, Duluthians are doing their job.

“There are folks that do a super job of wanting to have dry pavement all winter long. They really go out there and work hard because that’s what they understand is the responsible thing to do,” says Sellner.

And some Northlanders enjoy shoveling snow, or at least they tolerate it.

“Yeah, I’m here to stay. I’m sure there’s a good rest of the population that feels the way I do. We always know where our shovel and boots are,” says Piasecki.


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