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Lansing city council may tweak city's snow removal ordinance

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(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
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 Lansing’s ordinance requiring people to shovel snow from their sidewalks might get a tweak before the snow flies this winter.   

Last night, the Lansing City Council voted to allow four people off the hook for failing to shovel snow from their sidewalks last winter.  The reason?  They either didn’t actually own the property last winter or there was an administrative mistake.  

Councilwoman Jessica Yorko says there’s too much lag time between when an offense occurs during the winter and a bill is sent in May or June.   She says the bill can be a surprise to people buying a home in the city.   

“So, there’s just a really big window of time when the violations occur and when we were setting the tax roll," says Yorko.

 Lansing sends property owners a bill of $116 if city crews have to shovel sidewalks 48 hours after snowfall.