Downtown Business Owners Want Help Shoveling Sidewalks

Published 02/06 2014 08:52PM

Updated 02/07 2014 10:48AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Walking on sidewalks in downtown St. Joseph may feel like an obstacle course to some.

Snow as deep as seven inches covered sidewalks in front of a few downtown businesses, forcing some people to walk on the street.

"It's always a danger when you're driving down the street and you see people walking, especially at nighttime," said Joshua Bethards, an employee at a Buffalo Bar.

Bethards spent several hours shoveling the ankle-deep snow off the sidewalk.

"This amount of snow, it's hard for an individual to scoop it all themselves," said Bethards.

He says he wishes city workers would help a little more.

"Downtown, major walkways, it's always nice to have a little bit of help when we get this much snow," said Bethards.

The city shovels some downtown sidewalks, but not in front of businesses.

"City owned parking garages, that's what we do in the downtown business district. We take care of 6th Street over the railroad tracks, just south of us. And, we take care of two parking lots and city owned parking lots in the south end," said Keven Schneider, City of St. Joseph Streets Department.

Property owners are responsible for clearing their own walkways and sidewalks.

"That's why we take care of the ones around the city-owned facilities," said Schneider.

Bethards thinks owners and the city should team up to get sidewalks cleared quickly.

He also suggested inmates helping out.

"Maybe have the prisoners or something come out, and at least make a path, you know, at least one path down the way and have the owners come in from there and try to clear it from there," said Bethards.

Prisoners shovel corners of sidewalks, but Bethards thinks they, and everyone else, should put in a little more work.

He says it's a hazard for residents to walk in the street, and it's important to clear sidewalks for everyone's safety.

The City of St. Joseph says property owners should clear their sidewalks of snow within a reasonable time.

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