MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula residents are reminded to shovel their sidewalks to help keep their neighbors safe, or risk getting billed. Missoula's snowy sidewalk ordinance means residents are required to shovel their sidewalks by 9 a.m. the day after a snowfall.
Neighbors can call the city and complain if that doesn't happen. An inspector will check things out, leave an informational flyer, and if things don't change by the next day, the city can send a crew out and bill the resident. That means a minimum of $26 per half hour, plus an administrative fee of $36.
City staff members tell NBC Montana they can get roughly 40 complaints on a busy day. So far this winter, the city has sent out about 10 bills.
"Today [the sidewalks] are pretty awful, but I imagine it's pretty hard because it's been continually snowing all day," said student Brooke Sampson as she walked home from school.
"It's always nice when they are shoveled because walking is a whole lot easier," said Sampson.
Around the corner, snow shoveler Scott Wilson helped clear the walkway at a medical building.
"You definitely have to get them cleared. They get icy, snowy. People can slip and fall," said Wilson.
Monday's weather made his job a bit more difficult.
"It's hard when it's windy like this, because all the drifts keep filling back up," said Wilson.
Folks who need help shoveling their sidewalks for various reasons can learn about resources by calling the city's office of Development Services at (406) 552-6630.