Minnesota cities ask what worked, what didn't in season's snow removal

- The snow and ice are long gone, but some local governments are still wrestling with their impact. Leaders in south Minneapolis are using this time to assess what worked and what didn't this winter.

The city is seeing a sharp increase in property owners who need to pay up. Minneapolis stepped up enforcement of people who didn't shovel or de-ice their sidewalks in time, and that led to more property owners getting a bill for the clean-up.

In Minneapolis, homeowners have 24 hours to clear the sidewalks in front of their property, while other property owners have four hours during the day.

Now that this year's winter weather has finally cleared, officials are tallying up the amount of people who still owe the city. After they failed to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice, the city had to hire contractors to do the job.

“It seems that this year more people chose to prepay, but we also have a lot more assessment violations and a lot more violations out here,” said Mike Kennedy with Minneapolis Public Works.

So far, Minneapolis Public Works estimates they've cited about 970 people so far and 624 have not paid.

Last winter, the number was 161 citations, 109 of those ended up being assessed on this year's property tax bill.

In 2014-14, 373 citations and 357 went to assessments.

“In the last couple of years, we have enhanced our program. We have taken steps to shorten the inspection process, and we have a new system for recording all of this information and producing the bills,” Kennedy said.

Minneapolis is not the only local government dealing with winter weather hangover. The city of Roseville is debating whether to change its winter parking rules after repeated complaints that not enough people moved their cars during storms, leading to challenges removing the snow from the roads.

Currently, Roseville City Code prohibits parking on any street for a period of 48 hours after two inches or more of continuous snowfall or until snow removal has been completed on any street.

The options they're exploring include everything from an overnight parking ban, to instituting snow emergencies, to leaving the current rules as is.

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