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Denver City Workers Warn Businesses Whose Sidewalks Haven't Been Cleared Of Snow

DENVER (CBS4) - The snow has stopped falling in Denver for now, but that doesn't mean all sidewalks are clear. On Tuesday, city inspectors were out addressing icy spots and working with business owners to make sure their properties were free of snow.

"I am just making sure safety hazards are being addressed," explained Marcus Hill, a City Associate Inspector for Denver's Community Planning and Development. "I'm looking at the sidewalk, making sure that snow and ice is completely removed from edge to edge, the whole length of the property."

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On Tuesday, CBS4's Makenzie O'Keefe followed Hill as he checked out a block of businesses on Federal Boulevard. He pointed out one business violation where they had not cleared their ADA ramp on the corner of the property. Another business tried to clear the sidewalk, but some snow and ice remained. There also was a pile of snow from the parking lot plow that blocked part of the sidewalk accessibility.

"It's going to be hard to get pass that because it still has too much ice and snow buildup," he explained. "There is no way for them to get around."

Hill said he first responds to areas of complaint in the city. Once he identifies an issue, he'll make contact with the resident or business owner to explain what they need to do to make their property a safe place.

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"Somebody in a wheelchair or something, they're not going to have access through here," he told a business owner, who was given a warning.

Hill said once he talks to the property owner, he'll post a violation or warning on the front door. From that time, the business has four hours to fix the icy issue.

"After four hours if the snow is still on the sidewalk you'll receive a $150 ticket with the potential of $500 and then $999 after," he told another business.

Hill said his favorite part of the job is talking to people and explaining why clear sidewalks are important.

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"I explain our kids walking down the street or someone in a stroller or a wheelchair and it makes it more real," he said. "They then understand were not just out here nitpicking or saying do this. It's a dual effort."

Between 2/7-2/11 city inspectors have issued 101 warnings to residents and 12 warnings for commercial properties, and zero tickets have been issued.

For residential sidewalks, homeowners have 24 hours to clear their walk after it stops snowing.

To file a complaint about an icy sidewalk in Denver you can call 311 or file one online.

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