Is Cincinnati enforcing snow ordinances?

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - On Tuesday, FOX19 discovered some Cincinnati municipal ordinances forcing you to clean snow and ice from your sidewalks, or face a fine. But, is the city actually enforcing their ordinances?

According to sections 723-57 and 723-59 of the city's municipal code, sidewalks should have been cleared a week ago right after the snow and ice stopped falling.

"When you have a storm like we had, we need to act reasonably," said David Mann, the city's Vice Mayor (D).

If you violate those codes, you could face a fine up to $25. But, is the city actually patrolling and collecting?

"I think we've got better things to do as a city than start issuing tickets for that," said Mann.

But, some city residents need to walk nearly everywhere they go.

"It's a little intimidating at first walking out the door," said city resident Alex Cornelius.

Lately, he's faced sidewalks caked in ice and snow on his daily commute to UC's campus.  He doesn't see why the city isn't writing tickets for it.

"Our landlord says they'll come by and fine people for having tall grass, so if they do that this can be an actual danger, a hazard," Cornelius told FOX19.

So, why doesn't the city do it?  Mann says, for one, the resources just aren't there.

FOX19 asked Mann, "Does the city have the personnel to go out today and cite people for not cleaning their sidewalks?"

"Not without taking a lot of police officers off the streets," he replied.

On top of that, Mann doesn't see it fair to have residents labor away, digging through the tough, icy conditions.

"If you start issuing citations because what now has turned to solid ice, and the temperatures hasn't been above freezing for how many days, how on earth can the average homeowner get rid of that," Mann told FOX19.

While he is pleased with snow removal in the city, he put out a motion on Wednesday to council members to figure out how things can be better.  He says the city's salt truck fleet is down to 48 from 60, and there is a dwindling salt supply as well as other strained resources because of the harsh winter.

A city spokesperson tells FOX19 that because of how rare this particular storm situation was, the city's resources are spread thin, and they're not as focused on enforcement.  We're told any enforcement falls under the City Manager and the employees he would assign, but, police officers will respond to complaints.  You can call their non-emergency line for complaints at 513-765-1212.

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