Ann Arbor fines $500 for bad sidewalks

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) - Shovel or be fined. That's the situation in Ann Arbor, where a city ordinance requires residents to clear off sidewalks or pay $500. Some residents say the high dollar fine doesn't make sense.

The rule in Ann Arbor is to clear it all within 24 hours of a snowfall, down to the bare concrete, or face a $500 fine. Yes, five double zero for an unfinished sidewalk. Ann Arbor Percy Herrero says the city's rule is unconscionable.

"It's hard to shovel the snow when it's like single digits." said Herrero, "And you cannot do it all at one time. It's not like people are in good shape to do it or people have snowblowers."

"So it's really important when we do go out, we give notices first." said Lt. Renee Bush, "And we allow them 24 hours to clean up that area. So we do try to work without residents of the city."

Ann Arbor Police tell us this winter alone, 44 residents paid the $500 fine.

"500 is a lot." said Herrero.

"Well, it's people's civic responsibility to take care of their sidewalks." said Mike Appel who says part of bearing the responsibility is taking care of people who are differently abled.

"You know, it's terrible to think about somebody being stuck on your sidewalk in a wheelchair because you didn't take the time to go out and shovel." said Appel.

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