We were hoping to sail through January with gentler weather, but another storm has dropped snow on an already snow-packed town.  We want to thank our residents for taking care of business and clearing those walks a couple of times already this winter. 

To ensure the safety of neighbors, dog-walkers, and those who require sidewalk access, snow should be cleared within 24-hours of a one-inch or greater snowfall, or after any accumulation of ice has ended. Doing so helps protect the many pedestrians who use sidewalks daily in Iowa City.

Those who do not remove snow and ice could face a fine, something we all want to avoid.

Sidewalk policy

Property owners are responsible for the ice and snow removal from all sidewalks that abut their private property.

The entire width of the sidewalk must be cleared down to concrete. Renters should check their leases to see if their landlord has transferred the responsibility of snow and ice removal to them.

Clearing curb ramps and crosswalks

Be a good neighbor and keep curb ramps clear. Snow and ice-free curb ramps are needed to keep sidewalks accessible to everyone, especially for those with limited mobility.

Snow and ice that is shoveled or that accumulates in crosswalks makes it difficult and dangerous for many of our residents, especially those with limited mobility, or children on their way to and from school. When you get to the end of your sidewalk, please shovel a few extra feet to clear the crosswalks and curb ramps if you are able.

Reporting snowy or icy sidewalks

Those who wish to report a property where the adjacent public sidewalk has not been cleared can contact the City of Iowa City:

  • Download the free ICGovXpress mobile app for your smartphone or tablet. Search GoRequest where you get your apps. 
  • Visit www.icgov.org/ICgovXpress
  • Call the complaint hotline at 319-356-5152

Complaints must be specific and include an address for staff to respond. Residents can view a digital map of properties that are being investigated by staff due to complaints from the public.

Salt/Sand mix available for residents

The City provides a limited amount of salt/sand mix that is available at no charge to the public at the Streets Division parking lot, located off of South Gilbert Street in the parking lot at 3901 Napoleon Lane. Iowa City residents should provide their own 5 gallon bucket and shovel to obtain this mix, which is intended for local residential sidewalks, and not for commercial or contractor use.

Penalties

If a complaint is received about an uncleared property, an inspector will visit the address to verify the violation, and leave a notification tag at the property. A Notice of Violation will also be mailed to the property owner and an additional 24 hours will be given to clear the pavement. If not completed by the deadline, the City will hire a private contractor to shovel, and the property owner will be billed those costs plus a $100 administrative fee. Only one notification will be given per snow season. Subsequent violations at the property will be cleared without further notification.

For more information, contact Stan Laverman at 319-356-5135 or stan-laverman@iowa-city.org.

Date of publication

Friday, January 15, 2021

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