Duluth Tells Homeowners, Businesses To Step Up Snow Removal; City to Focus on City-Owned Streets, Sidewalks

No longer will city crews accept special requests from homeowners and businesses to clear snow a certain way for their liking.

DULUTH, Minn. – The city of Duluth held a press conference on Wednesday to address the coming year of snow after last year’s historic storm on Thanksgiving Weekend.

Mayor Larson’s office tells Fox 21 the city is refocusing its plowing operations to help avoid any road-crippling backups after a snowstorm and also to avoid wasting resources on a budget tightened by the pandemic on property that’s not the city’s responsibility.

“I have been very clear about what my expectations are on how we do snow clearing and that did not meet the expectations that I have in place for us as a city,” said Mayor Emily Larson in the days after the Thanksgiving Weekend storm which dumped more than twenty inches on the Northland.

On Wednesday, city leaders spoke at a virtual press conference about how they hope to avoid this in the future.

No longer will city crews accept special requests from homeowners and businesses to clear snow a certain way for their liking.

“We often get a lot of calls from people saying on my block if you could just we get a lot of calls for specials all you have to do in this neighborhood is this. It’s really not possible for us to accommodate for all of those specials,” says Mayor Larson.

Drivers who don’t move their vehicles to the correct side of the road during or after a storm should not expect any leeway this season.

“It really dramatically impacts the efficacy of our plows as they move around the city and allows for plows to get places faster and clears more streets,” says Noah Schuchman, the Chief Administrative Officer for the city.

Meanwhile, homeowners and businesses will be 100 percent responsible for snow removal of their sidewalks and they’ll need to do it within 24 hours of a snowfall.

If not, a fine could fall on their property tax for the cost of the contractor hired to remove the snow.

The city will, however, continue to clear city sidewalks they are legally responsible to clear.

“That means that some sidewalks that the city has cleared out of a matter, of course, will not be cleared and that is a change that is coming,” says Schuchman.

As these changes are implemented, the city did say if we get another blizzard that piles up feet of snow like last year it could take crews more than 48 hours to clear the 500 plus miles of city roads.

 

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