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Rockford puts off sidewalk shoveling requirement

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 3:30 p.m. CDT

ROCKFORD (AP) — Residents of the northern Illinois city of Rockford won't be ticketed for leaving their snowy sidewalks unshoveled — at least for now. But a sidewalk-clearing ordinance may come back before the city's aldermen before next winter.

The Rockford Register Star reports ( ) that a committee is giving city staff a month to dig up more information on how other Illinois communities handle the matter before making a recommendation to the City Council.

The newspaper reports that many Illinois cities have sidewalk shoveling rules. Rockford does require businesses to clear their sidewalks, but doesn't require homeowners to do so.

During a Codes and Regulations committee meeting Monday, Alderman Teena Newburg acknowledged that many people would like to see a sidewalk-clearing ordinance.

"Everybody wants this done now," Newburg said. "There's no way we can get it voted on, approved and enacted by the next snow."

Rockford aldermen have been considering the issue for several weeks as snowstorm after snowstorm pummels the region. Supporters want to protect pedestrians from the hazards of walking on the streets when sidewalks aren't cleared.

Longtime Rockford resident Larry Spence, 87, said requiring homeowners to shovel their walks would be a problem for the elderly and disabled.

"If they bring in something like that, I will have to destroy my home, take a beating on it and sell it," Spence said.


Information from: Rockford Register Star,

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