flickr.com (Anon.Rosie)

I am one of snow’s biggest fans, but I absolutely HATE shoveling it! Especially because I believe that snow should stay un-touched, since it’s just so darn beautiful! Sure, I understand having to clear the driveway, but even for that task, I start up the four-wheeler and slap on the plow. It takes me a whole five minutes, and boom, done. However, when it comes to walkways within Missoula City limits, you are required by* law* to keep them clear in front of your home, or around your entire property (if you own a corner lot).

According to KPAX News...

MISSOULA - If you haven't shoveled or de-iced your sidewalks in the past, you may want to start or pay a fine.

If a property owner isn't physically able to take care of the snow, the city has various resources in place to help, like the Missoula Aging Service or the Office of Neighborhoods.

College students have a new resource as well. They can rent shovels from the University of Montana's Housing Office.

Residents who don't shovel their sidewalks will be forced to pay a fine that starts at $62, said Missoula Public Works Director Steve King.

"It's not our first choice," he said, "We prefer communication and collaboration. If that's not working, we'll dispatch a crew. That'll start at 62 dollars and goes up depending on the volume of work and the hours that it takes us to clear that walk."

Snow has to be shoveled by 9 a.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends.

Even though I don’t love that they are REQUIRING you to shovel your walks, I fully understand that you do not want anyone falling and injuring themselves on your property. I can recall a few businesses that have successfully been sued for someone slipping because they failed to de-ice, and I am sure the same thing could happen to a resident if someone falls on your sidewalk. Plus, the last thing you need while saving for the holidays is getting slapped with a $62 fine! And if you’re clumsy, just wear your snowshoes while out strolling the neighborhood.