Minneapolis threatens lazy snow shovelers with $75 fine

Categories: Weather
tcfsnowberm.jpg
Minnesota is supposed to know what to do when this stuff piles up.
The Minnesota winter often includes roughly a metric ton of snow. A a civic duty, this snow needs to be shoveled off sidewalks and tossed into the yard of that neighbor nobody likes.

But come this December's pile-on, Minneapolis resident might have an added incentive to be a decent human being and get all that stuff out of the way. The city is planning to chase down the laziest among us, and cite those who don't comply with both a public shaming and a $75 fine.

Finally, the city has learned something from the movie "Scarface," and decided that everyone needs a little cash incentive to push white powder.


The new threats, as reported in the Star Tribune, would leave houses and duplexes 24 hours to get rid of the snow on their sidewalk. Technically, that could be accomplished by eating it, but a more likely solution is dusting off the ol' shovel and shoving.

The city hasn't yet decided to levy fines on deadbeats, but Minneapolis has accumulated enough complaints from the elderly and disabled to make this a glaringly obvious issue. Apparently the people who can't muscle a snow session are still able to poke their fingers into the digits "3-1-1" on their touchtone dial, and the city pretty much knows who is and who isn't pulling their weight.

Our -- well, you know, "their" -- collective laziness was explained in a City Council meeting on Tuesday, with Department of Public Works liaison Brett Hjelle explaining the windswept snowdrift shape of the problem to the council. According to Hjelle, city employees spent a lot of hours shoveling for no-showers last year, meaning they wasted time before getting to properties that are actually vacant.

Some $52,000 in fines are on their way, via retroactive property tax fees, to the people responsible for some of that annoyance, the Star Tribune reports. But other, more proactive chest-poking is in order: Considering that Hennepin County is actually within its bounds to hammer scofflaws with a $103 fine, the city council's proposed $75 is a relative bargain. And you know what's even cheaper than $75? A shovel!

As of yet, the Minneapolis City Council refuses to consider the idea of bringing back the stocks and pillory concept. But City Pages would like to endorse whatever it takes to force people from their cozy homes and into the bleak streets to make Minneapolis walkable.
My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Dave2
Dave2

In the age of motorized snow removal many smaller communities send small snow blower tractors up and down the sidewalks. In Mpls. the sidewalks are public so why can't the city do likewise? Why should the resident be responsible?

Forwardpride
Forwardpride

They don't currently have enough equipment to do all the walks in the city but they do most of downtown, or the businesses use contractors.  My complaint is that the city plows my driveway in with a wall of ice and snow that I can't move.

Dar
Dar

As a person who uses a wheelchair, it's not just a 'pain'. An unshoveled sidewalk may as well have a three-foot wall on it, blocking my path. Ditto, except even moreso, for curb cuts piled high with icy snow. What is the city going to do about the fact that they plow snow into those curb cuts after my neighbors have shoveled them clear, and then the snow and ice hardens so much during the day it's impossible for a person without specialized equipment to clear it?

welfare reform
welfare reform

Or, you could kick the ppl off welfare who refuse to look for a job and are drunk/get high the majority of their time...think of all THAT money....

guest
guest

You just have it all figured out don't you smartypants?  What proof do you have that's what people on welfare do with their time?  You're either joking or a completely opinionated bigot.

Pete8396
Pete8396

whoa !! are you on welfare or something, cause you seem pretty defensive.  I know for a fact over 15 people with out jobs that just drink and smoke all day.  so ima have to agree with him on this one buddy

green23
green23

Are they on welfare? Because unemployment isn't welfare, you know.

JRO
JRO

There should be an age limit.  If you're old, you're old. Just because it could snow daily.  Other lawn care is predictable and you can have someone do it. 

guest
guest

there are many 10 years olds looking for spare cash that would love to shovel for elderly people. 

Pete8396
Pete8396

who says all those old people who can barely get out of bed have extra cash to give little ten year olds

Dez
Dez

I wonder how they're going to handle recently purchased homes with previous problem owners. I know that the previous owners for my house weren't good about doing anything (including snow removal) so hopefully mpls doesn't decide to levy my taxes for their no-shows

guest
guest

I assume that it's all going to based on this year and not previous years. 

Dez
Dez

but the article mentions retroactive property tax fees. Just interested to see if they're taking new owners into account.

guest
guest

I think they should. It sucks to walk through several inches of snow because someone is too lazy to shovel. I also believe the city should fine those who decide to water the sidewalk in the summer. If you're lazy, don't live in a house. 

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...