MISSOULA – A Missoula City Council committee has approved a motion to raise the fees levied against citizens who don’t remove hazardous snow and ice from their sidewalks.
In the event that the city receives a complaint that someone has not removed snow and ice from their sidewalk, officials will check the complaint and issue a notice of noncompliance.
If the snow has not been removed within 24 hours, the city removes the snow and charges the resident a fee.
An employee from Missoula Development Services has taken care of the removal in the past, but city officials would like to contract that process out because snow removal is not part of development service employees’ job description.
The amended snow removal fees would pay for a third party contractor to take care of the snow removal process.
Some Missoula residents that these new fees are overpriced and not affordable for people, especially those who already cannot shovel their walkways.
“With a fee of anywhere between $325 an hour, if any of our clientele who receive our volunteer services, if they were to be fined that there’s no way they could afford it,” Imagine Missoula’s Angela Miller said.
“That is a huge portion of their monthly income which is a part of the reason they rely on our services. However, because we are volunteer-based I cannot guarantee for every person that calls needing a volunteer to come shovel that we can get one to them by nine o’clock,” Miller added.
City officials say that the amount of offenders who have to pay these fees is not a very large amount and only assessed fees to nine properties last year.
The full Missoula City Council still has to approve the increase sidewalk fees in order for the new rules to go into effect.
There is a public hearing set for December 17 at 7 p.m. in the Missoula City Council chambers. If approved by the full council, the new fees would go in effect on December 18.