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Don’t forget to remove snow from your sidewalks… city may assess costs

This news story was published on December 29, 2012.
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Uncleared sidewalks may be cleared by the city ... at a cost.

Uncleared sidewalks may be cleared by the city … at a cost.

MASON CITY – Mason City residents need to remove snow from their sidewalks within 48 hours of snowfall.

Mason City code references Iowa code, which states that the “property owner is responsible for the removal of the accumulations of snow and/or ice within forty eight (48) hours of snowfall from the entire width of the sidewalk and may be liable for damages caused by the failure of the abutting property owners to use reasonable care in the removal of accumulations.”

The code also states that if you cannot remove snow and ice from your sidewalks, “the owner or occupant shall keep and maintain such accumulations spread with fine cinders and/or sand in such a manner as to provide traction and prevent the sidewalk from being dangerous to pedestrians.”

The city has been known to remove snow and ice from sidewalks and then assess the costs.

Mason City code states that “the city may proceed to clear said sidewalks of snow and ice and may assess the actual cost and expense thereof.  In addition to the actual cost of removing accumulations or treatment of accumulations from sidewalks abutting private property, a ten dollar ($10.00) administrative cost shall be paid by the owner of said property.”

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5 Responses to Don’t forget to remove snow from your sidewalks… city may assess costs

  1. Avatar

    Mr. Bojangles Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Aren’t the sidewalks city property? I am pretty sure from the sidewalk to the curb is city property, but I’ve lived in the country my whole life, thankfully. So why would they fine someone for not doing the city’s work? And why is getting the sidewalks clean in 48 hours such a big deal when they can’t clean the streets of for crap in that amount of time?

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      December 31, 2012 at 10:00 am

      @ Mr. Bojangles-Yes, the sidewalks and parking do belong to the city but the home owner or resident is responsible to do the maintenance. I don’t like it and don’t agree with it but that is the way it is. I can sit here and look out my office window and see four sidewalks that have not been touched this year. Due to health issues I have to pay to have the snow removed from mine so, it is somewhat irritating to see other people not taking care of theirs. And, surprise, surprise, they are all HUD reant houses. They also don’t mow their lawns.

  2. Avatar

    John Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I actually think that the city got it together last year and has done a good job with the alternate side parking. The warnings have been good, then they let you know when it is no longer in effect.

    The sidewalk thing has me baffled though. Some area’s of town have no sidewalk at all, so people walk on the street. The people that do have sidewalks still have people walking in the street but get fined for not shoveling their walks. My sidewalk is always clean, but I am wondering how they can enforce this when not everyone has a sidewalk. Can I tear mine out?

  3. Avatar

    Katie Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    You’re right about the City enforcing the sidewalk rules hit and miss. I know of 2-3 blocks of sidewalk that was never shoveled for 20 years and then all of a sudden the City gave notice because someone who moved to the area started using the sidewalk and complained. I think they were some parents who actually made their kids WALK to school in the winter!

  4. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Easily half the people in our neighborhood don’t bother to clean their walk and the rent houses that are empty never clean theirs. I called the city 3 times last year about a house in forecloser that was oqned by Wells Fargo and they never once shoveled the snow. I guess the rules only apply to some and not to all. Also, the snow removal rules SUCK. They notified us by text at 4:00 Friday that they were suspenpending alternate parking. No wonder people are confused.