MISSOULA — We've had a taste of snow in Missoula so far this month which has prompted city officials to issue a reminder about the rules for shoveling sidewalks.
They say that property owners are responsible for making sure the sidewalks adjacent to their properties are clear of snow and ice. City ordinance also requires residents to clear sidewalks of snow and ice by 9 a.m. the morning after a snowfall.
People should shovel the snow onto their own property and not into the street, bike lanes or parking lanes. Also, fire hydrants need to be kept clear to allow firefighters and Missoula Water staff quick access.
Here are some basic tips:
- Make sure to shovel the snow onto your own property.
- Do not shovel snow into the street, bike lanes or parking lanes.
- Do not cover fire hydrants with snow. City firefighters need quick access to the hydrant and its water to fight fires, and Missoula Water staff need access to make repairs.
- Do not use deicing agents on vulnerable new sidewalks for two years after installation. During that time, while the new walk is curing, use sand or other non-corrosive materials.
Now, if there is a complaint about uncleared sidewalks, the first step is for the City of Missoula to send a Notice of Violation letter to the property owner.
The City’s policy for handling complaints about uncleared sidewalks is as follows:
- First property address complaint: Notice of Violation letter is mailed to the property owner and tenant, if applicable.
- Second property address complaint: Final Notice of Violation letter and intent to clear snow by City contractor for this and any future violations is mailed to the property owner and tenant, if applicable.
- Third and all future complaints that calendar year: No notice by mail will be given to the property owner or tenant. Snow will be removed by a City contractor, and a bill will be sent to the property owner. The bill will include an administrative fee and must be paid within 30 days or will be levied to the property owner’s tax bill.
- Click here for information on complaints.
The City is encouraging people to help their neighbors or ask their neighbors for help when shoveling is a challenge. Renters should check their rental agreements or ask their landlords if they are responsible for clearing the sidewalks around their rental properties.