The city is responsible for the plowing of all publicly owned and maintained streets and alleys. The city typically plows for snowfalls of two inches or more. If there is less than two inches of snow, or icy conditions, the city plows, salts, and sands the hills and main streets only. If there are several light snowfalls in succession or warm weather loosens up the snow packed on the street, the city will plow when sufficient accumulation occurs to warrant plowing.
Maintenance Crew Schedule
If the snow is falling during the day, the maintenance crews will begin their plowing routes immediately and work until about 6 p.m. The crews will typically all go out again at 2 a.m. the next morning. If the snowfall begins at night, plow crews begin their routes between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
The city is separated into six plowing zones and there are usually two trucks per zone. The city plows the following areas on this priority basis:
- Priority 1: Main streets and hills
- Priority 2: Local streets, Wakota Arena, and City Hall parking lot
- Priority 3: Alleys and trails
- Priority 4: Sidewalks, steps, rinks, pump houses, and city park parking lots (where needed)
Clearing all the streets and alleys sometimes can take up to two days. Residents can help speed this process along by moving their vehicles off unplowed streets and alleys. If the street is already plowed, stay out of "snowbird" areas that are unplowed, and do not shovel snow into the streets and or alleyways.
The city would like to remind all citizens of two very important ordinances regarding city streets:
- Municipal Code Section #58-101 (a) states: "Except when otherwise posted, marked or metered, a vehicle may not be parked on the streets or alleys in such a manner as to obstruct or interfere with snow plowing or snow removal." This means that all parked vehicles must be moved off the street before the snow plow crews begin their plowing routes.
- Municipal Code Section #58-98 Length of Parking states: "A vehicle may not be upon any street in any one place for a longer continuous period than 20 hours." The purpose of this ordinance is to encourage residents to move their vehicles from the street and other public areas on a frequent basis to not interfere with snow plowing and public safety.
Unmoved vehicles slow down the city's plow trucks by requiring additional plow runs, and could result in the vehicle owner receiving a "snowbird" citation. Citations are issued by the police department after the streets have been cleared of snow. Vehicles still not moved will be towed to the impound lot, and the plow crews will then plow those areas where vehicles were removed. Owners of towed vehicles should be prepared to pay over $100 for the tow and storage.
According to city ordinance Sec. 54-4, Snow, dirt, and rubbish remaining on a public sidewalk more than 12 hours after its deposit is a public nuisance. If walks are not clear of snow and ice for the safety of pedestrians the city may send the property owner a notice. If the sidewalk is still not cleared within a set time period of the date of the notice, the city will remove the snow and the property owner will pay the cost.