When I wrote a number of postings concerning the lack of snow and ice clearing on sidewalks throughout Shorewood, it became apparent from responses I received from Readers and postings from other bloggers, that a lot of us don't know how the system actually works here in Shorewood.
I contacted Chris Swartz, the Village Manager, who explained that the task for enforcing the ordinance regarding snow and ice removal is in the purview of the Shorewood Police Department. I confess that up to that point, I was under the impression that it would have been the Building Inspection Dept that would have been in the forefront.
I contacted the Lieutenant on duty today, Terry Zimmerman, who explained how the actual system works. Lieutenant Zimmerman also shared that he personally has found it frustrating that property owners do not clear their walks, as he is a runner, and has found it hard to find suitable surfaces to run on this winter.
The systems works like this:
1) If there is a property owner who is not clearing their walks within 12 hours of the snow fall or ice situation, you should contact the Shorewood Police Department, their non-emergency number is 414-847-2610.
2) SPD will assign the complaint to an officer. Upon inspection, if the walkway has not yet been cleared, the officer will contact the resident, and if no one is home, will post a notice with a 24 hour warning to remedy the situation.
3) If after the 24 hour period, the officer finds that the situation has not been remedied, he or she will write a citation against the property owner.
4) The fine for a first offense is $109.
On a personal note, If I continually find that one of my neighbors is not clearing their walkway, I would contact them and ask them to do so --- maybe there is a problem with an illness or an elderly person --- maybe it is a situation that neighbors can help each other with.
But for someone that just flouts the law, while endangering the safety of pedestrians and eschewing the Shorewood Walkable philosophy --- drop the dime --- call the Shorewood Police and they will do their job.
BTW -- there had been some discussion as to whether it is the Village or the School District that is responsible for the sidewalks surrounding the schools. Per Mr Swartz and Lieutenant Zimmerman, it is the School District that is responsible. If the school walks are not cleared, they too are subject to a citation and fine from the Village.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ?