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Residents responsible for removing snow from sidewalks

Saturday, February 5, 2011 | 4:20 p.m. CST; updated 7:27 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Michael Marcum clears the sidewalk in front of Makes Scents on Ninth Street on Wednesday.

COLUMBIA — Residents took to the sidewalks Saturday morning to clean up the remnants of this week's storm.

Sidewalks are not the city’s responsibility. According to the sidewalk standards in Columbia’s code of ordinances, residents are required to keep their sidewalks clear and free from snow and ice.

“Any person failing to observe the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor,” according to the code.

Jill Stedem, public information specialist at the Public Works Department, said there’s been some leeway with recent enforcement due to the weather, but people are still asked to take care of their sidewalks and follow the ordinance.

Some residents did just that.

Just me and the goats

At around 9:30 a.m., the Daniel Boone Regional Library began to shed the layer of snow that had collected overnight.

This was thanks to Mike Knoll, one of the library’s maintenance staff members, who said he’s been shoveling since Tuesday at both the library and at home on his farm.

“It was just me,” Knoll said. “Well, me and the goats.”

Knoll said shoveling is a full-time job and the true trick of the trade is to “stay ahead of it.”

Busy at work

Frank Haris was also doing his part this morning.

Riding around on his bladed John Deere tractor, he cleared away snow from the sidewalks at Grant Elementary School.

“We’ve been working all day and all night,” Haris said. “We do all the schools — twelve-hour shifts since Monday.”

Haris said this is the worst winter he’s seen in quite a while, but he likes the way everything looks with all the snow.  

Enough is enough

Joel Swanson, a Hickman High School student shoveling at Lifestyles furniture, isn’t a Columbia native.  

“I’ve only been in Columbia for about five years, but before that it was New Mexico,” Swanson said. “Big change. It snows every other week here.  And don’t get me wrong, I like the change in weather, I do. But at this point, I’m just getting tired of it."

Taco Bell employee Cameron Neal had a similar attitude.

Neal said he’s been on a shoveling streak since Monday.

“This is crazy,” he said. “I keep wishing for it to stop, but it just keeps coming back.”

Taking matters into his own hands

Resident Richard Maseles, an attorney in Jefferson City, said he knew the city wasn’t going to solve his problems for him — so he cleared off part of his street.

“The city policy doesn’t consider this a tertiary street, and I’m guessing that most streets in Columbia aren’t,” Maseles said. “But I knew that Garth was a secondary street, so all I needed was about 100 feet. I told myself if I could make it there, I’m out.” 

Maseles said he cleared about 50 feet of the street himself but eventually asked someone with a tractor to finish the rest.

“The city didn’t come until around midnight on Thursday,” Maseles said.

An adventure

One downtown business manager shoveled the snow with indifference.

David Eich, who manages Chipotle on Ninth Street, said the snow hasn’t caused a big change in his schedule. 

"I don’t mind it,” Eich said. “It’s an adventure."


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Comments

alan hamilton February 5, 2011 | 9:09 p.m.

I am visually impared and must walk to where I need to go. So the sidewalks must be cleared according to the article. All is good with that except I must walk Paris Road and the bridge over I-70 has NOT been cleared at all this winter. Who must clean the sidewalk and bridge there? One thing for sure it wont be mo-dot. I along with anyone else that has to walk that area MUST walk in the street. If people are responsible for their property sidewalk why isnt mo-dot?

(Report Comment)
robert link February 6, 2011 | 5:43 a.m.

Who is responsible for clearing the newly installed extended width sidewalk along Old 63 running from Stadium to Broadway? Currently pedestrians are forced to walk in the vehicle travel lanes.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks February 6, 2011 | 8:16 p.m.

"Resident Richard Maseles, an attorney in Jefferson City, said he knew the city wasn’t going to solve his problems for him — so he cleared off part of his street.

“The city policy doesn’t consider this a tertiary street, and I’m guessing that most streets in Columbia aren’t,” Maseles said. “But I knew that Garth was a secondary street, so all I needed was about 100 feet. I told myself if I could make it there, I’m out.”

Maseles said he cleared about 50 feet of the street himself but eventually asked someone with a tractor to finish the rest."

Good for you. Always nice to see people taking responsibility for themselves. Everyday you hear more and more people expecting the govt to do stuff for them that only 30 years ago people would have done themselves.

Here is a tip that a few of my relatives use. They have a neighborhood association and they contract with a company to keep there roads clear and divided up between all the houses it cost them around 30 a year from each house.

If you live on a cul da sac or a dead end street it would cost you and your neighbors around 150 dollars to hire someone and clear the street better and faster then the city.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 6, 2011 | 10:03 p.m.

Corey Parks: Good for you. Always nice to see people taking responsibility for themselves. Everyday you hear more and more people expecting the govt to do stuff for them that only 30 years ago people would have done themselves.
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Only 30 years ago we did not get the heck taxed out of us for every little thing. We did not have our payments for lights and water raised every 3 years or less.. We are paying more in taxes now than ever before, and the government is finding more excuses to get out or earning those tax dollars more than ever before......

Which does not seem right?:

(1) Pay More, Expect More!

or

(2) get Paid More, Do Less!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks February 7, 2011 | 7:30 a.m.

I agree that they have raised taxes and provide less services. At least to those that actually have to pay taxes. But using that mindset only about 5 percent of the population can complain. My point is that once the population starts giving up on personal responsibility and waiting for someone else to do it for them then the life we were given is lost.

As far as the "pay more get more or pay more get less". That is and for the time being left up to the people that keep voting in politicians to local/state office that feel the need to use things like social justice and entitlement programs instead of forcing people to hold their own heads up.
I do not want the state and city to be robbing Peter to pay Paul because they do not know how to correctly budget the peoples money.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 7, 2011 | 9:56 a.m.

I agree that it is always a good thing to take personal responsibility..

But part of taking personal responsibility is demanding what is due to you and your fellow citizens.. I mean, if you don't complain about it and you lose it, you really don't have a reason to gripe because you lost it, right?

So, instead of us doing what we pay the city to do, why don't we demand that the city do their jobs, complain if they don't; and that way the government can't say "well the citizenry must not have cared about it or really valued that particular service; because nobody complained when we stopped providing it"...

The problem is not us not taking personal responsibility, it is the government trying to sherk it's obligation... And the government will have you believe that you are not entitlted to services. That is about as false as if you went to a restaurant and paid for a cheeseburger with your hard earnhed money, and the restaurant then taking your money and saying "we don't have to let you have this cheeseburger, but because we are feeling generous today we will".

If the people in our government do not want to work, then the people in our government should not expect to get paid. And then we'll all just jump out there and start shoveling snow, as long as the government does not come trying to collect taxes for all of it's services; including MAINTAINING THE STREETS AND HIGHWAYS and SNOW REMOVAL!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks February 8, 2011 | 8:54 p.m.

I agree. I would never want someone to not let their voice be heard especially when it comes to tax money and govt employees no matter the level.
I am also bias in this situation with the snow removal this time around because I have seen the inner workings of the street department shifts and know how many more departments where bought on line for the 12 hour rotations and the fact the trucks were running 24 hours a day up until Saturday.
Yeah it sucks when your stuck in your house and are unable to do your normal routines but it just seems that of the 245 messages and emails the manager was getting every morning that people are quick to react and slow the think about the situation rationally.

No I do not work for the city or the state and do not contract with them. I am in the Military though and have to deal with the too many Chiefs and not enough Indian's situations daily. I know how one man can make the entire department/company look bad even if 99.9% are doing the best they can with what they have.

(Report Comment)

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