The City or businesses: who is responsible for sidewalks? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The City or businesses: who is responsible for sidewalks?

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YAKIMA, WA - With the freezing rain Yakima received last night, many sidewalks have a layer of ice. And for businesses, that raises the question of who is responsible for clearing them.

It might make sense that because the sidewalks are city property, the City is responsible, but this is not the case.

"Oh yeah! Yeah I struggle," said Joe Mann, owner of Ron's Coin & Collectibles. "I almost slipped a couple times today...It was a sheet of ice. It was terrible and so were the roads coming down."

This is why Mann and his employee are seen throwing ice melt.

"This morning there wasn't really too much you could do, except we came out with ice melt and dumped about a half a bucket of ice melt on it."

When asked whose responsibility it was to keep the sidewalk clean, Mann said, "It actually belongs to the City, but it becomes our responsibility and our customers use it. We don't want our customers to get hurt, and so we try to keep it as clean as we can."

City officials say it is the owner's responsibility to keep the sidewalk clean of snow and ice, and Mann agrees.

"I think the City does a good job on the streets, but to take care of all the sidewalks is virtually impossible and so everybody just kind of has to chip in and do their own little part."

The City also says some businesses in the downtown area are a part of the Downtown Yakima Association, which will clean the sidewalks for them.

Thankfully, this weekend sun is expected to shine, and hopefully that helps some of the ice melt...but for now, walking slow is probably best.

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