Snow season is finally here.

With the snowfall ending at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, sidewalks in Iowa City must be cleared within 24-hours of a one-inch or greater snowfall, or after any accumulation of ice has ended, for sidewalks to be used safely by pedestrians. Those who do not remove snow and ice may be fined. 

Snow and ice removal

To ensure the well-being of neighbors and those who require sidewalk access for their commutes to work, school, and other needs, snow should be cleared within 24-hours of a one-inch or greater snowfall, or after any accumulation of ice has ended.

During winter, temperatures can rise above freezing during the day and melt snow away, then cool back down at night, creating an icy layer. Please be sure to check that sidewalks remain cleared of ice, as well as snow. 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.

Salt/Sand mix available for residents

The City provides a limited amount of salt/sand available at no charge 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 five-gallon bucket and shovel to obtain the mix, which is intended for local residential sidewalks, and not for commercial or contractor use. The mix is currently available.

Sidewalk regulations

Property owners are responsible for 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 verify if snow and ice removal is the responsibility of the landlord or the tenant.

Clearing curb ramps and crosswalks keeps sidewalks accessible

We encourage residents to help keep curb ramps clear. Snow and ice-free curb ramps are needed to keep sidewalks accessible to everyone.

Snow and ice that accumulate in crosswalks make 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. Your extra effort is greatly appreciated. 

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. 

Penalties

When a complaint is received regarding an uncleared property, a case will be created by the City, and property owners will be sent notification by email (if on file) or by regular mail. Twenty-four hours after a snowfall, an inspector will visit the address to verify the violation and leave a notification tag at the property. If the property is found to be out of compliance at the initial inspection (24 hours post snowfall ending) the City will hire a private contractor to shovel, and the property owner will be billed those costs plus a $100 administrative fee.

Resources for those who need assistance

Aging Services is expanding its snow removal program in Johnson County by adding additional openings in Iowa City. This service, which is very basic, is intended for those who have physical disabilities, severe arthritis, neuropathy, heart conditions, or other risk and cannot afford regular snow removal. For more information, contact Aging Services at 319-398-3644. Openings are limited.

Date of publication

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Contact

Department