Snow Removal

Bob Eccles

If you got a ticket in Ypsilanti after our latest round of snow, it's because you didn't clear your sidewalk within the required trimeframe.

City Planner Teresa Gillotti says the grace period for clearing snow is shorter this year than it was last year, "to try and keep the sidewalks clear sooner rather than later". The city now gives residents and business owners 24 hours to clear snow, as opposed to 48 hours.

Fines for first offenses have also been reduced from $50 to $15.

facebook.com/simplelawnsypsi

One sector of the local business community that probably doesn't mind all the snow we've had this winter is snow removal.

Justin Brown owns Simple Lawns in Ypsilanti, which has been in business since last spring.  He says the snow has kept him extremely busy.

"Seems like every week, you know, we're out and about doing snow plowing," Brown says. "Haven't really caught much of a break."

The Washtenaw County Road Commission spent $565,000 - one fifth of its budget - to clear snow and maintain roads during the severe weather earlier this month.

Nearly 3000 tons of salt and sand were dumped onto roads, and plow crews and other road personnel worked non-stop for five days to make sure the roads remained clear.

Washtenaw County Road Commission DIrector of Operation Jim Harmon says costs generated so far this season will not affect services going forward. He says the cost of cleaning up from a storm of that size is not unusual.
 

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti property owners would have 24 hours instead of 48 to clear snow from their sidewalks under an ordinance approved on first reading Tuesday night by city council. 

City Planner Teresa Gillotti says with Ypsilanti trying to be a walkable city, snow on sidewalks can be a problem.

Gillotti says she checked with a number of surrounding communities, and found that most give property owners 12 to 24 hours to clear snow. 

The ordinance approved by city council also calls for giving violators one warning per season, rather than one warning each time there’s an inch or more of snow, as the law is currently written.

The ordinance is expected back for a second reading an final approval at council's next meeting.