It's official. There is no going back now. Winter is here to stay after most of Eastern Iowa got their first measurable snowfall of the winter season on Tuesday. More of the white stuff is actually in the forecast for later today. Since the shovels and snow blowers are out, the city of Cedar Rapids is reminding residents and businesses that the snow removal requirements have changed since last year.

In a press release, the city reminded residents that the snow removal guidelines were actually changed and amended in July of this past year. Here are the changes that you need to be aware of .

  • Reduced Time For Snow Removal - After a storm ends, property owners have 24 hours to clear sidewalks from snow and ice. That is down from the previous time frame of 48 hours that was in effect last year.
  • New Citation and Appeals Process - If the city gets a report of lingering snow or ice on a sidewalk, an inspector may arrive as soon as 48 hours after the storm. That is down from 96 hours. If the sidewalk is not in compliance, a $35 citation will be given. There was previously no citation given in the inspection process. Residents can appeal the fine.
  • New Language - Property owners must now clear the entire width of public sidewalks and pedestrian curb ramps.
  • Abatement Fee Unchanged - If a sidewalk is not in compliance during the inspection, a snow removal crew will come the next day to remove the snow. The fee remains $313.

Snowfall season is now here for good, so follow the rules and you won't get fined!

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