COLORADO SPRINGS – Whether it is your first winter in Colorado Springs or you’ve been here for years, the City of Colorado Springs is reminding homeowners of their responsibility when it snows.

The city has a code established that it is the homeowners’ responsibility to shovel sidewalks within 24-hours after a snow storm.

Mitch Hammes, Neighborhood Services manager, said the city’s focus is to inform people if they don’t know or have forgotten.

“Once we get a call, our primary response is to educate and inform people, because lots of people move here. It’s their first winter. They don’t know, and so we educate and try to solve it that way,” Hammes said.

Hammes said sidewalks around your home get used everyday, even if you do not see people out there. If someone slips and falls in an area you were responsible for shoveling–you could be liable.

“Areas that don’t get shoveled the quicker ice forms, and then people slip and fall. The city code specifically says that property owners who don’t do that can face some liability,” Hammes said.

The city’s code also applies to businesses and apartment complexes too.

For a business owner, they must shovel their sidewalks within five hours on the same day after snow stops falling. For apartment complexes, they have a bit more time, but it must be done within the 24-hour window, and it is the property manager’s responsibility.

If the city receives a complaint, crews will make a visit, with the first being a reminder. But if snow stays, Hammes said it could add up to a bill.

“If we give them a notice, and they don’t do it, we come out, and we shovel it. And, we bill for our time and materials. That usually is in the range of $100- $125. Typical winters, we do have five or six occasions where we are actually sending city crews out to shovel the snow and then billing the property owners,” Hammes said.

If you know you can’t shovel in advance, Hammes’ best advice is to ask someone for help.

“The most important thing I tell people, though, is if you’re in a position [where] you can’t do it or you’re out of town, call neighbors, call friends….more than anything, it is just the responsible good thing to do to be a good neighbor,” Hammes said.

The City of Colorado Springs Neighborhood Services Department can also help you find someone to assist.

To get in contact with them call 719-444-7891 or visit their website.