The city of Lewiston, Minnesota, finds that it is in the best interest of the residents of the city
to assume basic responsibility for control of snow and ice on city streets. Reasonable ice and
snow control is necessary for routine travel and emergency services. The city will attempt to
provide such control in a safe and cost-effective manner, keeping in mind safety, budget,
personnel, and environmental concerns. The city will use city employees, equipment and/or
private contractors to provide this service. This policy does not relieve the operator of private
vehicles, pedestrians, property owners, residents and all others that may be using public
streets, of their responsibility to act in a reasonable, prudent and cautious manner, given the
prevailing street conditions.
When Will the City Start Snow or Ice Control Operations?
The Public Works Director will decide when to begin snow or ice control operations. The
criteria for that decision are:
A. Snow accumulation of two (2) inches or more;
B. Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel;
C. Icy conditions which seriously affect travel; and
D. Time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use of streets.
Snow and ice control operations are expensive and involve the use of limited personnel and
equipment. Consequently, snowplowing operations will not generally be conducted for
snowfall of less than two (2) inches.
A Snow Emergency may be declared at the discretion of the Public Works Director to allow
City crews to plow the full width of the streets. Upon declaration of a Snow Emergency,
vehicles must be removed from the City streets. Snow Emergencies take effect from the time
determined by the Director. Any vehicle parked in violation of parking restrictions will be
removed and impounded. Notice will be made to the City cable channel, the City Facebook
pages, and KTTC-TV weather information.
The Public Works Director will determine if and when snow will be removed from the area
by truck. Such snow removal will occur in areas where there is no room on the boulevard for
snow storage and in areas where accumulated piles of snow create a hazardous condition.
Snow removal operations will not commence until other snowplowing operations have been
completed. Snow removal operations may also be delayed depending on weather conditions,
personnel and budget availability. The snow will be removed and hauled to a snow storage
area. The snow storage area will be located so as to minimize environmental problems.
Priorities and Schedule of Streets to be Plowed
The city has classified city streets based on the street function, traffic volume and importance
to the welfare of the community. Those streets classified “First Priority” will be plowed first.
These are high volume routes, which provide access for emergency fire, police, ambulance
and city services. The second priority streets are those arterial and collector streets. The third
priority streets are the commercial streets. The fourth priority streets are the residential
streets. The fifth priority areas are cul-de-sacs and parking lots. (See Priority List Attached).
During significant and severe storms, the city must be prepared to move personnel and
equipment to maintain higher priority routes first. In fulfilling the need to have all streets safe
and passable, when resources are limited, plowing of all other streets may be stopped at any
time so resources can be shifted to higher priority routes.
Unforeseeable circumstances may cause delays in completing assigned plow routes. Such
circumstances may include weather conditions that endanger the safety of snowplow
operators and/or safe and effective operation of equipment, commuter traffic, disabled
vehicles, poor visibility conditions, parked cars along streets, assistance to emergency
response vehicles, equipment breakdown, and personnel shortages.
Work Schedule for Snowplow Operators
Snowplow operators will be expected to work their assigned shifts. In severe snow
emergencies, operators sometimes have to work longer shifts, but will be paid overtime for
hours in excess of 40 per week. However, because of budget and safety concerns, no operator
shall work more than a twelve-hour shift in any twenty-four hour period. While work breaks
are not guaranteed, generally operators will take breaks in accordance with city policy,
provided the breaks do not interfere with city services or operations. In addition, operators
will be allowed sufficient time to eat a meal during any shift which is eight or more hours.
After a twelve-hour shift, the operators will be replaced if additional qualified personnel are
The city recognizes that snowplow operators are exempt from traffic regulations set forth in
Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 169 while actually engaged in work on streets, except for
regulations related to driving while impaired and the safety of school children. Pursuant to
this authority, snowplow operators engaged in snow removal or ice control on city streets
have discretion to disregard traffic laws set forth in Chapter 169, except for laws relating to
impaired driving and school children safety, when in their judgment, it is safe to disregard
such laws. The privileges granted herein to operators of snow removal and ice control
vehicles shall apply only if the vehicle is equipped with one lighted lamp displaying a
flashing, oscillating, or rotating amber light placed in such a position on the vehicle as to be
visible throughout an arc of 360 degrees.
Snow and ice control operations will be conducted only when weather conditions do not
endanger the safety of snowplow operators and equipment. Factors that may delay snow and
ice control operations include: severe cold, significant winds, and limited visibility.
Use of Sand, Salt, and Other Chemicals
The city will use sand, salt, and other chemicals when there are hazardous ice or slippery
conditions. The city is concerned about the effect of such chemicals on the environment and
will limit its use for that reason.
The city will maintain some of the sidewalks in the city. The list of those sidewalks is
attached. As there are a limited number of personnel available, the city will only maintain
these sidewalks after the streets have been plowed. It is the responsibility of the resident
and/or property owner to remove all accumulated snow from all other sidewalks along public
streets adjoining their property. This includes any snow plowed from public streets onto the
Damage to a mailbox is a risk that snowplow operators face during their winter plowing
requirements. The city will conduct a review of each mailbox damage claim to determine
whether the city has any legal responsibility for the damage and, if so, to replace or provide
reimbursement for the mailbox. If the city, in its discretion, determines that reimbursement or
replacement is appropriate, the city may:
1) At the mailbox owner’s request, replace the mailbox with a standard size, non-decorative
metal mailbox and replace the support post as necessary with a 4” x 4”, decay resistance
wood support post, both which will be installed by the city;
2) Provide reimbursement in a reasonable amount for the mailbox and support posts that
meet the city’s ordinance standards, as well as state and federal requirements for mailbox
size, support and placement.
Formal complaints require the completion of a Citizen Complaint Form, available at City
Hall. Calls requiring service will be transferred to the Public Works Director for scheduling.
Emergency complaints will be handled in an expeditious manner as resources are available.
Deviation from Policy
The Public Works Director may deviate from this policy when in his or her judgment it is in
the best interest of the city or is necessary because of budget needs or other circumstances.
Changes in priorities (lasting more than 4 hours) will be documented as to what caused such
actions, why the change was necessary, and for how long the change is to be in effect. Those
city employees and/or contractors affected will be notified immediately by radio or cell
phone of such changes with all communications logged. Information logged will include the
time and date of the communication, name of employee contacted, and how they were
contacted. Any changes of priorities lasting more than 24 hours should be made in a written
record and the public should be informed of such changes through normal methods used by
the city for emergency notifications.
Review and Modification of Policy
The Public Works Director shall keep on file all comments and complaints received
regarding this policy. The policy will be reviewed periodically. Any review will consider
comments and complaints since the last review and any other factors affecting the policy or