Seniors having trouble with snow removal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Seniors having trouble with snow removal

Dubuque (KWWL) -- Winter in Iowa means a lot of evenings and mornings shoveling snow. It's a chore, but more than that, most cities require you to keep your sidewalks clear. Some people can't physically do their own shoveling and can't find anyone else to do it either.

In Dubuque, city ordinance requires that you must clear the sidewalks in front of your house within 48 hours after the end of a snowfall, but like many other senior citizens, Kathleen Sheth and her husband, can't physically do their own snow removal.

"With this last snowfall, I wasn't able to find anybody to help me do snow," Sheth said.

The Sheths live on a fixed income, mostly from social security, and professional snow removal services cost too much.

"We're trying real hard to find somebody to come and do snow. We can't afford a lot. I can afford a little bit. But I have my snowblower, and I have gas. They can use my snowblower and more than happy to use my gas in it," Sheth said.

The Sheths aren't the only people in this situation, the city and the Agency on Aging have taken calls from senior citizens with the same concern.

The city is looking at different options, including a program called "teenlink" used in an Illinois town.

"They gathered information from teens looking for snow removal or other odd jobs around the house and with seniors and other residents that needed those services, so we're just looking at that model program from another community to see if something like that in Dubuque would be appropriate," Jerelyn O'Connor, the neighborhood development specialist, said.

A neighbor was nice enough to clean off the sidewalks and driveway at the Sheth's this time, but they're worried with storms to come, they might not be so lucky.

"I don't need them all the time, but like this Thursday, we're having this big snowstorm come. I know I won't be able to get out there," Sheth said.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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