- The city of Billings has an ordinance (Sec. 22-406) that states that property owners are responsible for removing snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of the snowstorm.
- Said ordinance is "complaint-driven", meaning that one must call a specific number and provide the address of the guilty party.
- On such complaint, the city will mail the owner a notice that they have to remove the snow.
- If the property owner fails to do so, the city has the option of either removing it and billing the owner, or issuing the owner a fine up to $500.
- When we get a snowstorm, the city promptly dispatches the snowplows to deal with the major thoroughfares (i.e. "snow routes").
- The current procedure is for the snowplow drivers to redirect the snow onto the sidewalks so as to keep the roads clear.
This is not an uncommon occurence, and I can easily imagine the city sending a nastygram to property owner, who does one of the following:
- Re-shovels, then bills the city for the extra effort. When the city doesn't pay, take them to court.
- Ignores the city's notice, and gets fined or billed as appropriate. The aggravated property owner then rears back on their hind legs and sues the city.
- Tells the ordinance enforcement people what happened, and to get lost, followed by (2) above.