FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — Keeping the streets clean of snow and ice is important for many communities but for the city of freeport they take it very seriously to the point where they can give people fines for not keeping their sidewalks clean.
After 3 days of snow it’s important to keep sidewalks and streets clean and in city of Freeport — it’s mandatory. Those who don’t comply can be fined.
“The primary reason for that of course is safety you know people use sidewalks year-round including in the winter for a variety of reasons anyone that wants to use it for recreation you know just going for a walk we want to make sure the side walks are clear and free of any potential hazards,” said, Andrew Zupkoff, the Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Freeport.
This ordinance isn’t new, however, last year alone there were 253 cases of fines. Many community members make shoveling a part of their winter routine.
“I grew up in a community where I shoveled my neighbors sidewalks and this morning Tom over at TB toys did my walks and we always return the favor so I would hope that the community gets it walks done so you don’t have to worry about fines because it’s the right thing to do,” said Mike Martin, owner of Mort’s Bar and Grill.
There are some community members that say while they uphold their end of the deal, their neighbors can’t say the same. Fines can range anywhere from $20 to $200 dollars but the city will target high traffic areas.
“The first places they’re going is near schools or near other heavily traveled routes because you know those are the one’s most people are walking on to and from school that they should be free and clear of any slippery snow or ice,” said Zupkoff.
Community members are optimistic that people will abide by the ordinance.
“It’s your sidewalk, it’s 5 minutes out of your day just take a little bit of time and make sure the community looks good. I would hope that I would have some hope for our community members to keep neighborhoods clean because everybody uses the sidewalks and everybody uses the streets,” said Martin.