Police Department reminds residents to clean sidewalks

Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

The Miller Police Department reminds the public that it is the law and the responsibility of the building owner or occupant to clear and ice and snow from their sidewalks. The ordinance reads as follows:

12-20-10 The occupant or owner of any premises within the city adjacent to any sidewalk, must within fifteen (15) hours after the fall of snow or the formation of ice on said sidewalk, remove said snow and ice from as much of said sidewalk as adjoins the premises.

That means that failure to remove snow and ice from a building’s sidewalk could result in criminal prosecution and a fine. Also according to ordinance 12-20-20, the City could remove the snow or ice for the building owner and the cost of such removal will be assessed to the property.

Furthermore, if someone slips, falls, and gets hurt because the sidewalk did not get cleared, the building owner is civilly liable. That means that the person can sue the building owner for medical costs, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc., which could run into tens of thousands of dollars or more.

The building owner’s insurance may not cover such a lawsuit because clearing the sidewalks is the law and the building owner is not conforming to the law. That means that any damages awarded to the injured person may have to come out of the building owner’s pocket.

The Miller Police Department asks the public to avoid all of the above problems and clear their sidewalks after it snows.