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City of Manhattan News

Posted on: January 25, 2019

Clearing public sidewalks after snow and ice

photo of a man clearing snow

With all of the recent snow and ice, here are some things to know about keeping the public sidewalks safe for pedestrians around the city.

In some parts of town there are walks on both sides of the street, in other parts just one side, and in still others there are no sidewalks. It just depends on the regulations that were in effect at the time the subdivision was developed. Snow and ice on sidewalks are the responsibility of the abutting property owner or occupant under City Ordinance 30-71.

Owners/occupants have 36 hours after the snow or ice ends to get the walks cleared. If that doesn’t happen, city inspection staff may post a notice at the property giving 24 hours to clear. If it is not completed within that time frame, then the city can clear the walk and bill the owner. Normally, staff will start by first addressing complaints received, then will move to higher pedestrian traffic areas, especially around schools where children may be walking to and from school. After that, other areas of town can be addressed as staffing and time allow.

A good way to report snow and ice on sidewalks is through the City’s ReportIt! App. When those reports are received, they will be followed up on as soon as staff are able. Complaints may also be phoned in to the Risk Reduction and Code Services office at the Manhattan Fire Dept. at 785-587-4506 ext. 1.

We are always aware of those who may not be able to physically clear their walks for a number of reasons, so a few years ago the city started the Snow Partners program. This program pairs volunteers with residents who need the assistance on getting this accomplished. Right now there is a long waiting list for help and more volunteers are needed. If you are willing to clear public sidewalks for elderly and disabled residents, please fill out the volunteer form online at

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