Sidewalk Snow Removal

The City received numerous complaints during the winter of 2017-2018 regarding sidewalks which were not being consistently cleared of snow. Big Lake is a walk-able community and many residents, especially children and those with physical handicaps who cannot drive, rely on the sidewalk system to safely navigate their neighborhoods and access community resources. It only takes one snowy/icy sidewalk section to force pedestrians into the road where their safety is compromised.

The City’s Sidewalk Ordinance States:

  • The owner or occupant of any premises in city limits has 24 hours from of the end of any snowfall to clear their sidewalk of snow and loose ice.
  • After 24 hours, the City or its authorized contractor will clear the snow, serve a notice, and bill the property owner for the cost of the snow removal.
  • The 2018 fee schedule sets the fee for each violation at: $163 administrative charge + the contractor’s hourly rate for all time spent at the property.
  • If the fee is not paid, it will be added to the property taxes as an assessment.

The City will be sending out its authorized contractor after every significant snowfall to perform a “sweep” of the sidewalk system to ensure compliance with the ordinance. These sweeps will take place:

  1. Automatically, any time a single snowfall event drops more than two (2) inches of snow.
  2. Automatically, any time multiple snowfall events in a row result in more than two (2) inches of snow building up.
  3. At the City’s discretion, any time the City receives complaints regarding non-compliance with the ordinance. The ordinance requires that all snow be shoveled within 24 hours after the end of snowfall. Sidewalks must still be shoveled even if less than two (2) inches of snow has fallen.

The City will not send its authorized contractor out to perform a “sweep” until at least 24 hours has passed since the last snow has fallen so residents will have sufficient time to comply with the ordinance. When a sweep has been deemed necessary, the City shall provide notice on its website and Facebook page alerting residents that a sweep will be taking place the following day. The authorized contractor will begin the sweep at 8:00 AM the day following the City’s announcement.

Questions about the ordinance can be directed to City Planner Michael Healy at mhealy@biglakemn.org or 763-251-2977.