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Residents could be billed for not clearing snow

The price tag can be hefty
Posted at 6:06 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 19:06:32-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nobody really likes to do it, but every property owner has got to do it.

After the snowfall in Omaha on Tuesday, property owners have until 6 a.m. Wednesday to clear their sidewalks.

“It’s unfortunately something that cities have to deal with because if we just ignore the issue, you would have landowners that would never clear the sidewalk,” said Omaha city engineer, Todd Pfitzer.

Many who have experienced Nebraska winters know that if you wait to shovel your snow, a layer of ice could develop under it. If that happens and the city has to hire a contractor to remove the snow, it could really cost you. The city said you’d first get a warning, but if a snow removal crew you didn’t hire comes and clears the snow, and ice develops under it, you’re likely to get a hefty bill.

Work orders from last winter show 63 properties were billed by the city and those owners got bills anywhere from $60.40 to over $2,195.54, depending on the property size and manpower for the job.

“Shoveling it for $20 bucks right after it stops snowing is a whole different deal than going out there and chipping two inches of ice off of it five days later,” said Pfitzer.

On average, the owners were billed more than $325.

Pfitzer said you have a right to protest to the city later, but the city needs to clear the sidewalks to avoid any unintended consequences.

“And then of course, you’ve got people walking in the streets and they slip on the ice and get injured and so we have to address it," Pfitzer said.