DENVER - Denver City Inspector Jim Holt walked cautiously Wednesday morning, trying to keep his balance on the sidewalk near a car dealer on Colfax Avenue.
The packed snow and ice beneath his feet made his steps more cautious as he walked toward the car dealer's front door to give the business a warning about clearing their front sidewalk.
Holt counted the used car dealer as one of six businesses near Colfax Wednesday that had not cleared their sidewalks after Sunday's nine inches of snow.
"I want to keep the area looking clean and safe along Colfax here when I give them the four hour notice, Holt said."Almost every time it's cleaned up."
Holt is one of about two dozen neighborhood inspectors that enforce laws on Denver's sidewalk snow removal.
City ordinances say businesses have four hours after the last measurable snowfall to clear their sidewalks. Residents have 24 hours.
"We watch the weather report," he said.
After an initial warning, people receive another warning and are subject to a $150 fine if snow and ice are not removed.
Fines can grow larger if businesses or residences don't pay. Development services officials also say the enforcement process can get quicker for people that have recurring violations.
"We have this gorgeous thing here in Colorado. It's called the sun," Holt said. "So once you've shoveled, your walk is going to be clean."
Holt said he tries to be reasonable and friendly with most people he comes across.
In 2012, Denver city inspectors handled roughly 3,000 cases of either citations or warnings for sidewalk snow removal, according to Denver Community Planning & Development Communications Director Andrea Burns.
In Denver, inspectors enforce sidewalk laws on residences on a complaint basis, versus proactive sidewalk checks in business districts, Holt said.