Record home foreclosures cause snow removal problems
The snow brings a new problem with the high number of foreclosures in the Twin Cities. All those empty homes mean no one is around to clear the sidewalks.
Kathy Nitschke shovels out her own property, but sees that no one is looking after the vacant home in her Minneapolis neighborhood.
"A lot of traffic through here, so it's unfortunate when they don't clean things up," said Nitschke.
In Minneapolis, there are 50 percent more homes in foreclosures this year than last. In St. Paul, there are four times more vacant homes than in 2006.
It means more work for the city--both Minneapolis and St. Paul have a rule, stating snow must be cleared within 24 hours.
If a sidewalk stays covered in snow for more than a day, a letter is mailed to the address. If nothing happens, city crews come and do the work. The city of St. Paul charges $160 an hour, while Minneapolis charges $300 an hour—plus a $103 citation.
"We only have limited resources to do the work," said Minneapolis city spokesman Mike Kennedy.
If there are no homeowners to pay the snow removal costs, it will be forwarded to the bank that owns the foreclosed home.
The city of Minneapolis told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it answered more than 100 calls reporting snow-covered sidewalks on Monday alone.
Damn that Al Gore! It is his fault!