Snow removal isn’t just a kind gesture

Dear Editor,

While no one wants to be branded a Grinch around Christmastime, I believe your writer Emily Grove omitted an important fact in her article “City officials ask for help removing snow on sidewalks.” Ms. Grove’s article suggests that removal of snow and ice from the sidewalks of Big Rapids by residents and property owners is a good will gesture to help out the city. But that’s not quite true.

Referring to the “Full Code of Ordinances” on the website of the city of Big Rapids (, our obligation as city residents and property owners is explicitly spelled out (page 21):

“§ 94.16 SNOW AND ICE; REMOVAL REQUIRED. The occupant of any premises, or the owner of any unoccupied premises, is required to keep the sidewalks in front of, or adjacent to such premises cleared, so far as is practicable and reasonable, from snow and ice to facilitate pedestrian use. Whenever any snow or ice has fallen or accumulated it shall be cleared within 12 hours after it has fallen or accumulated. (’88 Code, Title IV, Ch. 41, § 4.16) Penalty, see § 94.99”

We all have to pull together to make Big Rapids a safe place to live, but in some cases it’s more than just a voluntary effort.

Richard Cochran

Big Rapids


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