Snow Information

A City of Ramsey snowplow pushing snow in front of Ramsey City HallSnowplowing

Citywide snowplowing begins after snow accumulates to two inches or more. When snowfall continues for long periods, crews concentrate on plowing main collector routes and additional routes connecting neighborhoods to State and County roads. If strong winds and drifting cause unsafe conditions for snowplow drivers, plowing stops until conditions improve.

City snowplow drivers plow our roads and clear off sidewalks and trails. Sidewalks and trail clearing typically happen after drivers finish with road maintenance. During a heavy snow event, full-scale sidewalk plowing is scheduled to start the day after the snowstorm to allow streets to be plowed first. Sidewalks and trails are cleared only on weekdays and non-holiday days. If a storm occurs on a Friday evening or Saturday, it will be tentatively cleared on Monday, depending on weather conditions.

Crews plow the entire City approximately eight to ten times during a season. They drive over 300 miles to plow and salt the streets in an average snowfall event.

Staking Property Lines (Free Stakes)

The City provides free wooden stakes for homeowners to install along their easements. The stakes should be spaced every 20 to 30 feet to help plow drivers identify the edge of the road early in the season. Drive stakes into the ground only about 6 inches because of utility lines. The lath will break off after a couple of plowing operations but will have served its purpose by helping to establish the curb line.

During regular business hours, 7:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m., the wooden stakes are available in a barrel outside the Public Works Building at 14199 Jasper Street NW. There is a maximum limit of six stakes per household.

The Boulevard Staking Policy prohibits using metal fence posts and other non-breakaway material in the public right-of-way. They present safety risks and will be removed by Public Works personnel. Small fiberglass poles and aluminum poles with reflectors may be used.

Pushing Snow and Ice into the Street

As old man winter tightens his hold on Ramsey, there’s an increasing temptation to push driveway snow and ice into the street. Unfortunately, pushing driveway snow and ice into or across the street is prohibited. When this is done, snow and ice mounds form and are very hazardous to other drivers and pedestrians. In turn, plow drivers must slow down in these areas, lengthening a plow's time on the road and increasing the taxpayer’s cost of plowing.

Minnesota Statute 160.2715 (a)(1) prohibits the deposit of items, including snow and ice, into the roadway. To enforce the statute, Ramsey Police will respond to any complaints and/or violations observed, which may result in a misdemeanor citation. If a citation is issued, it would need to be addressed with the Anoka County Courts. Please help us keep our streets safe for everyone.

Parking on Public Streets

Parking is not allowed on any public street between 2:00-6:00 a.m. In a snow event of two inches or more, parking is permitted once the street has been plowed curb to curb. 

Vehicles in violation may be cited and flagged for towing by patrolling police. After two inches of snowfall, vehicles parked in locations that create a significant hazard may be towed immediately by police or at the request of state, county, or city maintenance personnel.

Please stay tuned to the weather forecasts. In a snow event, move your vehicle from the streets whenever you can to help in our snowplowing team.

Ice Control

City crews, in most circumstances, use straight salt on icy areas. We will switch to a salt/sand mixture during extreme cold weather. This does not guarantee ice-free streets, so drive carefully even where salting or sanding is evident. Priority areas receive treatment and all other areas are done when time permits. Priority areas include:

  • All collector street stop sign intersections
  • All other stop signs
  • Areas deemed hazardous by city crews or other city officials
  • Bridge decks
  • Intersections of city streets and county and state roads
  • Streets with hills and curves

Managing Icy Roads

View this article to learn more about the City’s process for managing icy roads.

Boulevard Damage

Property damage can occur when snowplows are operating. The City does not assume liability for damages to private improvements in the public right-of-way (ROW) (fences, vegetation, irrigation heads, landscaping, etc.) The City is not responsible for damaged sod along the boulevard or sprinkler systems placed in the right-of-way on the boulevard or along the curb. This is the responsibility of the property owner. Please remove these obstacles from the ROW. Marking them clearly will help aid plow drivers, but it is not a guarantee these items will remain intact. 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). Please ensure your post is solid and securely fastened to the mailbox.

If your mailbox or turf in the ROW is damaged, please report it to the Public Works Administrative Assistant Marsha Weidner at 763-433-9839. Depending on the location, turf damage is repaired each spring with black dirt, seed, or sod.

The City of Ramsey has implemented a policy to assist snowplow drivers in finding the edge of the pavement. Wooden lath is available to residents free of charge to help mark the edge of the pavement. Please pay special attention when staking corners, as they are difficult for snowplow drivers to judge.

Garbage Cans & Basketball Hoops

Please keep garbage cans and recycling containers off the street. Placing them in the driveway or behind the curb allows snowplow drivers to plow curb-to-curb and lessens the chance of tipping over containers. Basketball hoops should be removed from cul-de-sacs for the winter.  

This diagram shows measurements of proper mailbox height and depth from the curb

Mailbox Guidelines

How to Set Up and Mount a Mailbox

Follow U.S. Postal Services® guidelines for installing and placing a new mailbox at your home. Make sure that your mail carrier always has a clear path to your mailbox, whether it’s by the street or mounted on your house. A mailbox with the Postmaster General's (PMG) seal of approval meets USPS size and construction standards. If you build your own mailbox or buy a custom-made one, it must meet the PMG standards. Show your local postmaster your mailbox plans or your custom-made box for approval.

Placing the Mailbox

Here are some helpful guidelines to follow when installing your mailbox:

  • Position your mailbox 41" to 45" from the road surface to the bottom of the mailbox or point of mail entry.
  • Place your mailbox 6" to 8" back from the curb. Contact your local postmaster for guidance.
  • Put your house or apartment number on the mailbox.
  • If your mailbox is on a different street from your house or apartment, put your full street address on the box.

Installing the Post

The best mailbox supports are stable but bend or fall away if a car hits them. The Federal Highway Administration recommends:

  • A 4" x 4" wooden support or a 2"-diameter standard steel or aluminum pipe.
  • Avoid unyielding and potentially dangerous supports, like heavy metal pipes, concrete posts, and farm equipment (e.g., milk cans filled with concrete).
  • Bury your post no more than 24" deep.

Source: United States Post Office