A sprinkling of snow has covered the Marinette and Menominee areas this winter, but we all know more will be on the way. That means shoveling sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and other locations.

We recently reminded residents of the overnight parking bans in the twin communities. It’s now time to remind them of their responsibilities in keeping their sidewalks free of snow and ice within the city limits.

In Menominee, the snow and ice must be removed from business and public buildings with 24 hours after the last snowfall of one inch or more. Sidewalks lining residential property must be cleaned by 10 a.m. after 24 hours since the last snowfall of one inch or more.

Failure to follow the municipal code may result in a citation of the ordinance, which could result in a penalty of $25 plus $45 an hour if city crews are directed to remove the snow. Property owners will be billed for the snow/ice removal through a special assessment to the property.

In Marinette, the penalty is much stiffer. The city has the right to clear snow at the property owner’s expense at a minimum rate of $100 per hour, a one-hour minimum or the city may impose a penalty for any violation of the municipal ordinance.

The Marinette ordinance also means residents and business owners will be in violation if they unlawfully clear snow from parking lots, driveways, garages and other areas to pile or distribute snow in a city street or alley.

The snow removal codes have been on the books in both cities for decades. Some of the enforcement language has been tweaked over time.

Although the codes often become the most discussed and cussed ordinances during the winter season, the snow removal decrees have been on the books for decades. Complaints are directed at ward aldermen, the mayor or city manager’s office or the respective police departments. People gripe when a neighbor or business establishment fails to do his/her part in following the ordinance.

Also upsetting too many people is what they perceive to be lack of enforcement. In too many instances, some sidewalks aren’t shoveled at all. Absentee ownership of a parcel of land should not be an excuse for following the law. If police issue public reminders to shovel their sidewalks they should be prepared to enforce the ordinance.