Snow removal was a hot topic during the last Dell Rapids City Council meeting held on Tuesday, February 16th. Dell Rapids City Ordinance 783 says that property owners are to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall. If the property owner fails to remove snow and ice from the sidewalks within the 24 hours, the city will have the snow removed and charge the property owner the cost to remove the snow along with a $50 fine.
City Administrator Justin Weiland said, “Last time we talked about this, the consensus of the council was to enforce on a complaint basis.”
Alderman Mike Sterud made a comment about the ordinance. “It shouldn’t take a neighbor to complain about snow and ice in order to use the sidewalk. There are people that need to use the sidewalk, and there are people that want to use the sidewalk. I see kids, people with pets walking on the roads…As a homeowner I would feel guilty calling to complain about my neighbor. It should be there to use. The other side of that, no one wants to feel like they are being policed by the city….I’d say for the majority of the community, most people clear their sidewalks. It’s just a few that ignore it, and it’s not being enforced.”
Members of the community also spoke about the council’s decision to enforce the ordinance on a complaint basis. Jeremy Merry said, “This is one of my pet peeves. I’ve got several neighbors in my area that will not do it.” He also mentioned, “I’ve got elderly people in my neighborhood that can’t go out for walk because they won’t remove the snow.”
Teri Fiegen mentioned, “I don’t understand how you can pick and choose which ordinances you want to enforce and which ones you don’t want to enforce.”
After much discussion between the council and members of the audience on hand speaking on the issue, Sterud made a motion to enforce the snow removal ordinance, which was seconded by Alderman Mike Geraets. The motion passed unanimously.
Fiegen then asked, “How will this be enforced?”
“The Code Enforcement Officer will be going around the community and addressing all the sidewalks that haven’t been,” replied Weiland.