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Take your job and shovel it

Jan. 17, 2012

With two snowfalls covering Wauwatosa in the past week, city staff want to remind property owners about their winter weather duties.

Shoveling sidewalks: The full width of public sidewalks, crosswalks and curb ramps must be cleared of snow and ice by noon following the accumulation, said Mary Clare Schuller, Parks and Forestry Department secretary. If the work isn't done on time, city crews will remove the snow and charge the property owner. De-icing agents or sand can be sprinkled on slippery spots.

Preparing for refuse collection: Clear a spot at the curb or the bottom of the driveway for garbage and recycling carts, Mike Kreiter, public works superintendent, said. Don't place them on the sidewalk or the top of a snow drift. Pulling carts from snow drifts can cause worker injury, so repeat offenders won't have their bins emptied.

Clearing fire hydrants: When firefighters respond to a structure fire, they immediately look for the closest hydrant. If the hydrant is covered in snow so it can't be seen or easily accessed it means more time for the fire to grow. Property owners who live near a hydrant can help by taking a few minutes to dig out the fixtures.

Driving etiquette: Snowplow drivers are handling large equipment often in treacherous conditions. Give them some space and slow down, Kreiter said. Stay 500 feet behind plows and let them clear a safe driving route, he said.

Following parking rules: When weather conditions warrant the city to call a snow emergency, on-street parking will be prohibited except for quick - three minutes or less - loading of passengers.

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