Snow may be the mark of the most wonderful time of the year, but for some business and property owners the snow could cost them a little extra money; and an ordinance on snow cleanup throughout Wheeling would be the cause.
$175 per man hour with an additional $175 charge for every additional hour. That’s the fine company owners in downtown wheeling could be facing if the city has to clean up the sidewalks and walkways outside the buildings because those owners haven’t completed it.
“We don’t want people to use the city as a default snow removal company,” said Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott. “We want to encourage them to either do it themselves or pay someone in the private sector. We don’t want to be in that business really, but we want the streets and sidewalks to be clean and so this is a way for us to put a disincentive in there.”
The affected areas are downtown from 10th to 23rd street, a few areas on Wheeling Island, and the Elm Grove Shopping District.
So, every part of the city isn’t covered in this potential fine, but, “This is a very specifically oriented item to improving and encouraging small business and access to those small businesses,” said council woman Wendy Scatterday.
Mayor Glenn Elliott and Vice-Mayor Chad Thalman tell 7News it’s not just about promoting the small businesses in our area, but it’s also about making Wheeling safer for all pedestrians.
“We think having sidewalks that are clear of snow and ice is one small thing we can do ensure the sidewalks are safe, and ensure that we send the message that, ‘hey, Wheeling’s open for business and this is a place that you want to spend your time and invest in,'” Thalman said.
“We have a lot of folks living downtown who are disable or elderly, and nothing makes me more mad than seeing them walk around, hover around or with their walker on ice covered sidewalks,” said Mayor Elliot. “It’s just unacceptable.”
Prior to receiving the fine, a business owner will be given a 24-hour notice to clean their property if it’s becoming an issue. The final vote on this ordinance is expected at their next meeting.
Council hopes to have everything involving this ordinance settled before the first snowfall.