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Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

What if I am disabled or a senior citizen who is unable to clear snow from my sidewalks?
A:

The Senior Citizen Snow Removal Program is a snow removal service provided at no cost to senior citizens (age 65 and older) or disabled residents whose annual household income is less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines. For those eligible, the City will contract to remove snow accumulations of two (2) inches or more from public sidewalks adjacent to homes.

If you have additional questions or meet the eligibility requirements and wish to receive the snow removal services, please contact Camie or Dana at 515.963.3550.

Where can I get information when a snow emergency is declared?
A:

Whenever a snow emergency is declared, the most accurate information is available on cable Ankeny Channel 7, online at www.ankenyiowa.gov, or by calling the Snow Hotline at 963-3540. This information will also be shared though our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Newspapers, Radio & Television
The local media are immediately informed in an effort to alert the public. The following media will be used to broadcast or telecast the declaration: WHO-AM, KRNT-AM, KGGO-FM, KJJY-FM, KSTZ-FM, WOI-TV, KCCI-TV and WHOTV. In addition, the Des Moines Register and Des Moines Register Press Citizen will be made aware of the latest happenings.

What if my mailbox was damaged by snow removal equipment?
A:

The installation of mailboxes on city owned right-of-way is permitted. The mailbox owner assumes all risk of damage, except when a mailbox is damaged through direct contact by snow removal equipment. If a mailbox is damaged due to direct contact by snow removal equipment, the City, at its option, will repair, replace or reimburse the property owner.

Contact the City Clerk's Office at 965-6400.

Who do I call to report potholes or broken/damaged pavement?
A:
Potholes or damaged pavement can be reported by submitting the Report a Pothole form. Reports can also be made to the Public Works Department from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 515-965-6481 or by emailing the Street Maintenance Administrator.
What can I do to help when it snows?
A:
  • When it begins to snow, please remove all parked vehicles from the street.
  • Keep small children inside when snow removal equipment is in your neighborhood.
  • When setting garbage cans out for pickup, place them behind the sidewalk.
  • Trim low hanging branches 10 feet above the street to prevent damage by snowplow trucks.
  • Shovel the snow around the fire hydrant near your home for public safety.
  • Shovel the snow around the catch basins in the street, so melting snow can drain away.
  • Please do not plow or shovel snow into or across the street. It is against the City’s Code of Ordinances to do so, and if the snow removal equipment doesn’t get a chance to come back and remove it, the snow will most likely freeze and cause ice ruts. This could be hazardous for motorists and pedestrians.
  • Do not pass a plow or sander and do not follow them closer than 50 feet.
  • Please let us know of any treacherous conditions or problems encountered on the city streets.
  • Please be patient. All the streets will be cleared and the problems will be responded to as quickly as possible. 
When does the city break from snow plowing?
A:
The City does not plow snow during peak traffic times or when students are going to and from school. Due to heavy traffic during these times, it is safer to keep the trucks off the streets.
What if my driveway is filled up with snow from snowplow trucks?
A:
Most snowplow trucks will make 6 passes on residential streets and 10 passes on four lane streets during a snow removal operation. This means driveways could be filled up to 3 times due to the trucks plowing the snow to the curb. The amount of snow deposited in the driveways may be significant, but it is unavoidable due to the nature of the snow removal process. The City will not clean driveways.
How is mail delivery affected by snow?
A:
The snowplow operators make every effort to remove snow as close to the curb-line as practical to provide access to mailboxes for the U.S. Postal Service. The final cleaning adjacent to mailboxes is the responsibility of each resident.
What if I have a complaint or request regarding snow and ice control or damages?
A:
Complaints and requests for further services regarding snow and ice control or damages can be made during normal business hours by calling the Public Works Administrator at 515-963-3525. Concerns will be addressed on a priority basis. After business hours during a winter storm event, please call our Street Maintenance Shop at 515-965-6481. Response time should not exceed 24 hours after the snowfall has ceased, unless conditions or operations prevent it.
What happens when a snow emergency is declared?
A:
When a Snow Emergency is declared, vehicle parking is prohibited on all city streets, alleys and roadways for 48 hours from the time the ban was established. If this period of time needs to be extended, public notification will be given in the same manner. Public Works crews will provide continuous snow removal on all streets during a snow removal operation. Driveways do fill up with snow during the plowing process. The amount of snow deposited in driveways may be significant, but it is unavoidable due to the nature of the snow removal process. The City will not clean driveways.
What do I do if my car is towed due to a snow emergency?
A:
If your car is towed, contact the Polk County Dispatch at 286-3333 to locate it.
What are Emergency Snow Routes?
A:

The Emergency Snow Routes are key streets for priority snow removal that have been established to allow safe movement of vehicular travel throughout the city of Ankeny. Residential streets are plowed immediately after Emergency Snow Routes are completed. Parking is prohibited on designated Emergency Snow Routes while snow is falling, and for a period of 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling/drifting. Ankeny’s Emergency Snow Routes are shown on the map (opposite page), along with the snow route sign that is displayed on the streets.

See a Map of Emergency Snow Routes

Does the city have a Snow Hotline?
A:
Yes, the Snow Hotline is 963-3540.
When is a snow emergency declared?
A:
When over four inches of accumulation is eminent, a Snow Emergency could be declared. The local radio and television stations are immediately informed in an effort to alert the public. Residents can also sign up for an e-Notify message to be delivered to their email or cell phone.

What are the city's snow plowing procedures?
A:

Streets will be plowed in the following order:

  1. Streets that are designed Emergency Snow Routes (identified with a red on white Emergency Snow Route sign), industrial parks, and public safety drives will be plowed first.
    See a map of Emergency Snow Routes
  2. For snow accumulation of 2” or more, plowing operations will begin on residential roads and alleys. If you live in a cul-de-sac, you may experience some delay, as this snow removal operation requires special equipment.
  3. Parking lots, sidewalks, trails and ice skating areas.
What should I do when it begins to snow?
A:
When it begins to snow, please remove all vehicles from the street. If snow is predicted to occur during evening hours, it would be wise to move your car off the street. A stringent “No Parking” ban on Emergency Snow Routes and during a Declared Emergency Snow Removal Operation shall be enforced. Vehicles parked or left standing on city streets, alleys and roadways, in violation of city code during either of these two snow removal operations shall be ticketed and then towed to clear the way for snow removal equipment. The Division of Public Works and the Ankeny Police Department will coordinate the towing operation. If your car is towed, you may contact the Polk County Dispatch at 286-3333 to locate it.
What are the snow operations for snow 2" to 4" in accumulations?
A:
When snow accumulations of two to four inches occur, the Public Works crews will begin plowing operations on all city streets, including residential streets and alleys. The snowplow trucks will initially make two passes on all residential streets to open them up to traffic. Residents living on cul-de-sacs may experience a short delay in service, since front-end loaders are needed to clear these areas. The snowplow trucks will make one pass through each cul-de-sac to open them up to traffic prior to the arrival of the front-end loaders. Again, all vehicles are prohibited on Emergency Snow Routes when the snowfall begins, while snow is falling, and for a period of 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling/drifting.
What are the snow operations for snow less than 2" or ice?
A:
When snow accumulations of less than two inches or if icing occurs Emergency Snow Routes, industrial roads, public safety drives and municipal buildings will be treated with a salt mixture and plowed. The residential streets are not plowed, but residential intersections are treated with a sand/salt mixture. All vehicles are required to be off Emergency Snow Routes when the snowfall begins and for a period of 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling/drifting. Vehicles not in compliance with the policies will be towed at the owner’s expense.
How do I report a broken traffic sign or signal?
A:
Broken or missing traffic signs or malfunctioning traffic signals can be reported to the Public Works Department from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 515-965-6481 or by filling out the Online Form. For after hours problems or emergencies please contact the Polk County Dispatch at 515-286-3333.
How can I find out about planned traffic improvement projects that affect my drive in Ankeny?
A:
The current capital improvement projects relating to the streets can be viewed online at Construction Projects. If you need additional information on any of the listed projects or future projects, feel free to contact the Public Works Department at 515-963-3522 or by Email.
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