Wheeling Gets Tough On Lazy Business Owners

Wheeling’s new snow removal ordinance is now in effect for business owners. The ordinance was passed in late December, and city officials say it was designed to make getting to local businesses easier for those wanting to do business with them, but so far, about 10 business owners have learned they are not complying with it. The law says that business owners in Wheeling must clear the snow from their sidewalks, and if they don’t the city will… but it will not be done for free. If a business owner fails to clear their sidewalk after a storm, first they will get a notice. If, after 24 hours, they still have not cleared it, the city will step in… at a cost of $175 per man hour. As an example, if a business did that just once a week through April, they would be liable for a fine of just under $3,000. Wheeling leaders say it isn’t about making money for the city… they prefer that business owners remove the snow themselves. However, it is all about keeping the business district safe for pedestrians, and therefore, if a business doesn’t clear their walkway, the city has no choice but to do it, and then charge for it. They say they purposely made the fine high because they don’t want the city to be in the business of snow removal. The Mayor suggests that business owners who can’t do it themselves, hire one of the many third parties out there who do that sort of work all the time.