Rochester City Ordinance 72.02 requires all property owners with a public sidewalk to remove snow and ice within 24-hours after a snowfall. This ordinance was passed to ensure the safety of the people using sidewalks.

The city says enforcement is complaint-driven. When the Public Works Department receives a complaint, they send an inspector to check the property. (Complaints can be lodged by calling the Public Works office (507-328-2400) or by submitting an online request.)  Public Works Employees have the authority to write Administrative Citations.

Here are some dos and don'ts from


  • Remove snow and ice from sidewalks and intersection handicap ramps abutting your property within 24-hours of snowfall ending.
  • Clear snow the width of the sidewalk.  Remember that sidewalks are used by strollers and wheelchairs in the winter.
  • Remove ice to bare pavement or make as level as possible and treat with sand, sawdust or similar material.
  • Clear any snow that may be blocking a handicapped ramp, fire hydrant or catch basin.


  • Shovel or plow snow into the street: Violators caught shoveling snow from private property into the street will be fined.
  • Overexert yourself while shoveling: Excessive strain from the cold and hard labor may cause heart attacks.

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