With snow in the forecast, shoveling sidewalks adds to the daily grind for all.
For the past 22 years, CSU Outdoors Services Manager Doug Nagel has dealt with the ice and snow across campus. With over 11 miles of streets and an unknown amount of sidewalks, parking lots and stairs, Nagel and his staff remain busy throughout the snow season.
“We’ll start at various times (clearing the snow),” Nagel said. “With the streets and parking lots we usually start at midnight and the sidewalk people start at 3 a.m.”
Nagel sees the snow clearing as a major safety issue for students and faculty.
“Basically (our goal is) safety, just to give people a safe place to walk,” Nagel said. “The dryer they are the safer they are.”
Student renters and homeowners also see the added burden of snow removal. According to the City of Fort Collins code, within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm all snow must be removed from public sidewalks adjacent to homes. If this does not happen, the city may clear the snow and bill the homeowner for the work.
Sophomore art education major Amy Miller, who rents a house on Remington Avenue, supports this policy.
“I think that it’s a good thing because it gets people motivated,” Miller said. “It’s safer, looks better and keeps the city in good order. But it’s hard to get out there within 24 hours every time, even if you try.”
Although for most residents shoveling the walk remains just an added chore, some elderly and disabled homeowners worry about it throughout the winter months.
According to Wendy Hartzell of the Fort Collins Neighborhood Resource Office and coordinator of the Adopt-a-Neighbor snow shoveling program, elderly residents fear slipping and falling on the icy sidewalks outside of their homes. Hartzell also explains that because the elderly do not get out of their homes much they do not have a wide neighborhood base of friends.
“The goal of the (Adopt-a-Neighbor) program is to provide snow removal to residents of Fort Collins that are physically unable to shovel, can’t afford it or don’t have neighbors or family that can do it for them,” Hartzell said.
This winter, Adopt-a-Neighbor has handled 24 requests for assistance with snow shoveling. Although there are 20 volunteers there remains plenty of room for more. The program began in 2001 and went through a revamping in November 2002 to include only snow removal.
“The benefit is just great,” Hartzell said. “The residents that call are just so thankful and grateful.”
Hartzell sees this act of helping a neighbor with snow removal as just being neighborly.
“A small act of helping a neighbor is what makes this a community,” Hartzell said.