Sidewalk Snow Removal

Property owners are responsible for all maintenance and snow removal on sidewalks existing in front of homes and/or businesses as stated in Dubuque Code of Ordinances, Title 10-1-3-C, and State of Iowa Code, Chapter 364.12 responsibility for public places.

Guidelines for Property Owners

  • Snow and ice should be removed immediately after the snowfall ends and no longer than 48 hours after the snow event. 
  • Snow should be piled on the property’s front yard or in the park lawn (area between the sidewalk and curb)--not on adjacent neighborhood property or in the street, alley, or sidewalk.
  • When shoveling or snow blowing your driveway and sidewalk, please DO NOT shovel or blow snow into the street. Your cooperation reduces the time required to plow all streets, which in turn reduces overtime costs and your taxes. Blowing or shoveling snow into the streets is a violation of a City ordinance. Violators are subject to a civil penalty of up to $750 and court costs. Additionally, they are liable for the road hazards they have created.
  • The property owner of a corner lot is to keep access ramps open for pedestrian travel and those who are physically challenged.
  • The property owner must clear the entire width of the sidewalk from edge to edge to provide safe and accessible passage for pedestrians as required by federal ADA guidelines.
  • For emergency access, refrain from burying any fire hydrants which may be in front of your property; please expose the hydrant if it is not visible.
  • Please call at (563) 589-4159 or contact the engineering department and provide the address of any public sidewalk property that needs attention after a snow event. Such referral information will be kept confidential.
  • If the unsafe conditions are on a rental property, you may wish to contact the landlord and/or the property management company to seek assistance. Otherwise, the City’s Housing Department can provide assistance by calling (563) 589-4231 or by filling out a Contact Us form. Again, referral information will be kept confidential.
  • If the City receives a complaint and verifies that a property owner has failed to clear the accumulation within 48 hours of a snowfall, the snow and/or ice will be removed by a City contractor and the cost will be assessed to the property owner. The City will assess the property owner for the cost of removal (an hourly fee plus any salt/material costs), plus a $25 administrative fee. Property owners will be notified and billed when the removal cost is determined. If the bill has not been paid at the end of the winter season, the cost will be assessed to the property and given to the County Treasurer for collection in the same manner as property taxes. 
  • Are there special circumstances that prevent you from removing your snow? Call 563.589.4159 for details on finding help with snow removal.

The City Does Not

  • Remove the windrow (excess snow accumulation from the street), since the driveway approach benefits the property owner.
  • Provide snow/ice removal to private property owners; however, it does maintain a listing of contractors who have indicated an interest in performing such work on a fee basis.
  • Have financial aid resources to help defray costs that a property owner may incur for snow/ice removal.

Are there special circumstances the prevent you from removing your snow?