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According to the City of Owatonna’s Snow and Ice Control Policies and Procedures, City crews begin snow and ice control operations when two inches of snow accumulate, when drifting snow causes problems for travelling, when icy conditions affect travel or when road conditions could deteriorate due to peak traffic volumes. Full mainline and cul-de-sac plowing operations begin at various times, depending on the start time and duration of the storm event. Routes and operations are designed to maintain access of emergency vehicles to all areas as a first priority. The plowing of high volume roadways generally occurs first, followed by residential plowing. In general, city roadways are cleared of snow within 8 to 12 hours of the end of the storm events. These guidelines are used to remove snow from streets throughout the city including in the downtown area.
The downtown streetscape includes raised crosswalks, walkable alleys and curb bump-outs to help achieve the vision for this project to improve accessibility and pedestrian safety. City crews are responsible for clearing snow and ice from these areas. These areas are snow removal crews’ priority and are done periodically throughout each snowfall event.
While the new sidewalk dimensions and surfaces are different from the former ones, the area that downtown merchants must shovel remains the same – straight out from storefronts to the curb. In areas where planters have been installed, merchants are responsible for removing snow and ice from around all sides of the planters adjacent to their storefronts. In the 200 block while barricades remain, the construction contractor will help with removing snow from sidewalks.
You may request an investigation of mailbox damage with the Public Works Department by contacting 507-444-4350 or Report a Concern online. Find more information regarding mailbox damage issues here.
Downtown merchants can shovel snow from the surface abutting their property onto the street where City staff will remove it. This should be done as soon as possible after snowfall events and prior to when City staff plows snow and must be done within 12 hours following each snowfall event.
Only plastic-edged shovels and salt-free grit should be used on new concrete sidewalks. Metal edges and salt cause deterioration. City crews have designed an innovative snow removal plowing edge to ensure the new street surfaces downtown are preserved.