Snowplowing Information

Snow Information:

During the winter months, City maintenance crews perform many duties, but snow and ice control are the most noticeable. When you consider the working conditions, including visibility and traffic, they are also probably the most dangerous.

Ramsey's 12-person crew plows the City about 10 times a year. During an average snowfall, the crew uses 14 pieces of equipment and drives 300 miles to plow and sand the streets. When you count the additional ice control or sanding completed, on average, 20 times a year, the miles really accumulate.

To reduce safety hazards and to minimize costs of snow removal for taxpayers, the City established the following policies on plowing and control, snow removal from private property, and parking along City roadways.

  • Snow Plowing
  • Ice Control
  • Parking on Public Streets
  • Street Sweeping

Snow Plowing

In Ramsey, snow plowing begins after snow accumulates to two inches or more and stops falling. When snowfall continues for long periods, crews plow main arterial routes and "through" streets that connect neighborhoods to State and County roads to keep these roads passable until all City streets can be plowed. If strong winds and drifting cause unsafe conditions for snow plow drivers, plowing stops until conditions improve. However, efforts are made to continue plowing during rush hour to help people get home safely. After hours, snowplow information can be obtained by calling our Snowplow Information Number at 763.433.9852. This number is monitored daily.

Ramsey also plows sidewalks and trails as time permits. Depending on weather conditions, this usually starts as soon as practicable after the streets. Follow-up passes are as needed.

Plow Damage: Sometimes property damage occurs when snowplows are operating.

The City doesn't assume liability for damages to obstacles in the road right-of-way (fences, vegetation, irrigation heads, landscaping, etc). If possible, remove these obstacles from the right-of-way or mark them clearly to aid plow drivers. Mailboxes are repaired or replaced only if the plow makes direct contact (sometimes snow from the plow can dislodge the box from the post or bend a weak post). Make sure your mailbox post is solid and securely fastened to the box.

Often, plow drivers literally "feel" their way along streets because of conditions, and regrettably, lawns are cut up. If this happens to you, please report it to the Street Maintenance department at 763.427.8254. Damages are repaired each spring with black dirt and seed.

The City of Ramsey has implemented a policy to assist the snowplow drivers in finding the edge of the pavement. Wooden lathes are distributed to interested residents at City Hall before the first snowplow event. These lathes should be used to mark the edge of the pavement. Pay special attention when staking corners as they are difficult for the snowplow drivers to judge.

Special note: For safety reasons, use only wooden lathe to mark the edge of the pavement, and then only drive them into the ground about 6 inches because of utility lines. The lathe will break off after a couple of plowing operation, but will have served their purpose by helping to establish the curbline.
Please do not use metal fence posts. They present safety risks, and will be removed by Public Works personnel.

Do Not Crowd the Plow!

We all share in the responsibility of keeping our roads safe. That is why it is very important for residents, especially children, to know what they can do to help snowplow operators:

  • Plows travel slower than other vehicles. Reduce your speed.

  • Never drive into a snow cloud.

  • Do not pass snow plow vehicles while they are plowing.

  • Keep your distance from trucks spreading sand.

  • Stay away from the end of a driveway when a snowplow is approaching.

  • Keep sleds and toys away from the street when they are not being used.

  • Do not build snow forts in the snow piles on the boulevard.

  • Stay out from behind snow removal equipment. Frequent backing is necessary during plowing, and visibility to the rear is very limited.

  • Keep garbage cans up in the driveway if it snows on garbage collection day.

  • Do not park cars in the street until the streets are plowed.


Ice Control

City crews use a sand-salt mixture or straight salt on icy areas. This does not guarantee ice-free streets, so drive carefully even where sanding is evident. Priority areas receive sand first, and all other areas are done when time permits. Priority areas include:

  • intersections of City streets and County and State roads

  • school and pedestrian crossings

  • bridge decks

  • all arterial street stop sign intersections

  • street intersections having higher than average traffic volumes

  • streets with hills and curves

  • all other stop signs

  • areas deemed hazardous by City crews or other City officials

If you notice an area that becomes extremely icy and causes concern, please contact the Street Maintenance Department at 763.427.8254.

Parking on Public Streets

Parking is not allowed on any public street between the hours of 2:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. All Ramsey streets are plowed, on schedule, after a snowfall and this assists the crews in ensuring that the streets are clear.

Vehicles in violation are cited and may be towed by patrolling police. After two inches of snowfall, vehicles parked in locations that create an extreme hazard may be towed immediately by the police or at the request of State, County, or City street maintenance personnel.

Each winter, stay informed of the weather forecasts, and move your vehicle from the streets when possible in order to assist in our snowplowing team.