Become a ‘Snow Buddie’ And Help The Elderly Clear Their Sidewalks
Sure, most of us aren't really thinking about winter and snowfall just yet. We're all just hoping for a nice long and enjoyable fall season. But the city of Cedar Rapids is asking you to think about what will no doubt be headed our way a little later on this year. Snow. It can pile up quick and be a problem to get removed from sidewalks in certain neighborhoods. The city has launched a program to help out with snow removal called 'Snow Buddies'.
CBS2 reports that the 'Snow Buddies' program will aim to help out elderly residents who have difficulty clearing snow after it falls. Volunteers are needed to make sure those pathways remain clear. Last winter there were 628 complaints of snow and ice accumulating on city sidewalks. City officials say that their concern is making sure those pathways are clear and that people don't slip and fall while walking.
This year, the city of Cedar Rapids is reducing the amount of time you have to clear your sidewalks from 48 hours down to 24 hours, according to CBS2. If sidewalks are not cleared in time, a $35 fine could be issued. If the sidewalks continue to be unpassable, an abatement fee of $313 would be charged when the city is forced to come out and clear it themselves. Last year, the city charged that abatement fee 73 times.
Phase one of the program is to seek out what are called 'Snow Heroes'. People who are willing to clear sidewalks for those who simply are unable to. You must be at least 18 years old and own snow removal equipment. These heroes are also not allowed to take money or gifts for their services. Phase two will happen in October, when the city looks for people in need of help with snow removal. Those who apply must live in Cedar Rapids, be 65 years of age or older, have mobility issues, and meet certain income guidelines.
The program will be run on a first come, first serve basis. You can sign up for the 'Snow Buddie' program on the city of Cedar Rapids website.