By Kate Raddatz

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — While the city of St. Paul was busy plowing roads Tuesday following the snowstorm, business owners were doing their part on the sidewalks.

“If it’s not easy for the customers to come in, they’ll just go somewhere else, so we spend a lot of time shoveling,” said Kevin Barrett, the owner of Dar’s Double Scoop on Rice Street.

He says he’s pretty good about shoveling after it snows.

In St. Paul, it’s the responsibility of commercial businesses to take care of their sidewalk.

“It’s part of Minnesota,” Barrett said. “It’s something you have to do.”

But not all store owners always comply.

Last week, the city had to take care of 97 sidewalks in front of commercial businesses after a major snowstorm.

The businesses received a letter that gave them a 24-hour warning to shovel or pay up.

“Average cost on a typical snow walk complaint is about $300 if the city has to clean it up,” said Travis Bistodeau, the deputy director of St. Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspections. “Fortunately, we see a lot of voluntary compliance so most folks aren’t picking up that charge.”

The city received close to 600 complaints last week about sidewalks that hadn’t been cleaned off.

On Tuesday, there weren’t any warnings as businesses get a 24-hour window after the snow stops falling to clear the sidewalks off.


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