Most cities across the state have some type of snow ordinance which can lead to residents having their cars towed if they don’t move them during a snowstorm. Grinnell has such an ordinance, and police chief Jody Matherly says people can avoid problems by using some common sense.

Matherly says if we are getting several inches of snow throughout the day, then don’t park your car in the street. He says there are a couple of good reasons to get your car out of the way.

“Number one, you’re gonna want the front of your house plowed anyway so when you do park there it’s cleared. And if you park your car there, even if it’s not a snow emergency we have to plow around it, and it’s inconvenient and unsafe for the drivers of the snowplows,” Matherly says, “and it’s also inconvenient for you, because now you’re stepping over snowbanks and trying to dig your car out.”

He says you can avoid all the problems by moving the car off the street. Most cities also have an ordinance requiring you to shovel your sidewalk, and Matherly says Grinnell is no exception. Matherly says you have to shovel the sidewalks within 48 hours after it has snow. Grinnell is like many cities, if you don’t shovel your walks, the city will do it for you, but they will charge you for the job.

Matherly says it’s a good idea to have a neighbor or someone else shovel your walks if you will be out of town, as it complies with the city ordinance, and also makes it look like someone is home.

By Chris Johnson, KGRN, Grinnell