That Winter Storm Warning may have officially ended Monday at midnight, but while it ended, the clock started ticking on the time you have to get your sidewalks cleared before the city of Rochester starts handing out fines.

When I was growing up back in central Wisconsin, I couldn't wait for the snow to pile up so I could go out and clear out my parents' driveway. Of course, I was able to use dad's snow blower, so it wasn't too much of a task. And it was kind of fun.

But I didn't realize the reason dad was fairly insistent in making sure the driveway and sidewalks were cleared: because if you didn't, the village of Rothschild would clear it for you-- and add the cost of clearing your sidewalks to your property taxes.

Things are a little different here in Rochester, but a similar principle applies-- because if you don't keep your sidewalks clear here in the Med City, the city can stop by and issue you a fine. Really. (And now, strangely, I don't find clearing our driveway nearly as fun as I did when I was a kid!)

And, you have just 24 hours after the snow stops to get everything cleared. According the Rochester city website, your first residential citation for not shoveling your sidewalk within 24 hours of a snowfall would cost you $40 plus a $50 "mobilization charge," the city applies to send someone out to do your shoveling for you.

And, if you have more than one citation in a year, the fee increases by $10. Luckily, the city doesn't employ "sidewalk police" who are out searching for unshoveled areas with a clock in hand, waiting to write you a ticket 24 hours after it stops snowing. Usually, it's a citizen complaint that leads to the citation.

So, yeah, keeping those driveways and sidewalks cleared isn't just a good idea-- it's the law!

Listen to Curt St. John from 6a to 10a on Quick Country 96.5

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