Residents have until Thursday at 6 a.m. to have public walkways cleared of snow
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The city of Fort Madison is enacting a snow abatement ordinance in addition to parking restrictions, due to the heavy snowfall over the weekend.
According to city Building Director Doug Krogmeier, the city is publishing the notice of the abatement on Tuesday and residents will have 24 hours to clear all public sidewalks on their property. After the notice has been published for 24 hours, residents will have an additional 24 hours before the city will begin to have contracted providers start clearing sidewalks and property owners will be billed for the service.
The notice that will be published Tuesday will give property owners until Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6 a.m. to have all snow removed from the sidewalks. If sidewalks aren’t cleared and no requests for an appeal or hearing has been made, the city will clear the snow and the costs will be assessed against the property owner and the property.
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Krogmeier said obviously the city doesn’t want to bill property owners for the service, but the sidewalks have to be cleared. He said the abatement only applies to public sidewalks and not sidewalks that go from the street to the doors or private driveways, just public walkways.
“I would prefer that everybody does their own, but at some point we have to act and get these cleared,” Krogmeier said.
He said the city will charge a minimum $50 to remove the snow, but heavier jobs can come with higher rates if it takes more than an hour or so to clear the snow.
“I’m going to have several crews working, but with the next round of snow coming, if we don’t get to all of it before that hits, and they’re projecting just as much if not more this weekend, that bill could get pretty expensive if we have to remove snow from both weekends,” Krogmeier said.
Some areas of north Lee County received close to a foot of snow on Saturday and Sunday, and the Fort Madison Police Department enacted a snow emergency to allow city workers to clear the streets. Vehicles are supposed to park on the odd side of the street on even days to allow city crews to clear the sides of streets with even numbered addresses and vice versa on odd numbered days.
The National Weather Service out of the Quad Cities is projecting another large system that could produce heavy snow accumulations in southeast Iowa on Friday and Saturday as well as possible wintry mix with little accumulation on Wednesday night into Thursday.