Sign up for email updates from City of Ada, MN

Facebook Instagram
Home > Departments > Public Works > Snow Removal

Snow Removal

During the winter season, your Public Works Department gets started as soon as forecasts begin reporting potential snow events in the local area. Once the snow falls, Public Works crews hit the streets. Primary snow routes are the first priority, followed by secondary routes. These primary and secondary routes are the major streets that keep traffic moving throughout Ada.

Primary Streets: West Main Street, 8th Ave (Hospital Road), 4th Ave, Business District.

After the snowfall ends and the primary and secondary routes are cleared, Public Works crews begin city-wide plowing operations in. Our goal is to plow all the streets within 24 hours after the snowfall ends. Additional snow, ice, and high winds can impact our ability to meet this goal; therefore, the timeline may be extended if another snow event follows closely behind. Public Works does not have the capability to run full 24/7 operations. In addition to plowing, we clear snow in the downtown areas and haul it away to a snow storage location.

Snow Removal Process

Phase 1 - Primary and Secondary Snow Routes

  • Plowing primary and secondary routes occur shortly after snow falls and as snow begins to accumulate in excess of 2”
  • Our goal is to keep the busiest streets that carry the most traffic as clear as possible before moving on to residential areas.
  • Several passes on the primary and secondary snow routes may be completed during a prolonged snow event if necessary.
  • In addition to plowing, sand trucks will apply sand (depending on the temperatures and conditions) to the intersections along primary and secondary routes
  • Snow is moved from the center of the street to the curb and placed as equitably as possible on the boulevards

Phase 2 - City Wide Plowing

  • After the snow stops and wind dyes down, Public Works Staff will begin plowing. The goal is to complete an initial pass on both sides of all streets within 24 hours after the end of the event.
  • The objective of the first pass on residential streets is to provide clear driving lanes quickly as possible.
  • Typically, city-wide plowing will start between midnight and 6 am (depending on the estimated end time of snowfall)
  • Depending on the amount of snowfall, it may take crews 10-14 hours to clear all the streets city-wide.
  • Typically, sand, will not be applied in residential areas. At certain times, use of ice control may be used on residential streets intersecting primary or secondary routes.
  • Public Works staff will not clean private driveways or sidewalks
  • Plows will return if a car is left on the street with snow plowed around it until the following day.
  • Process for cul-de-sacs
Large snow events (typically events 8” or greater): If an snow event predicts snow greater than 8”, the Public Works Director may direct crews to push snow to the center of the cul-de-sac and hauled away later. Hauling snow may take 1-2 weeks depending on future snow events

Daily Maintenance Routes and Sanding

Phase III: Daily Maintenance Routes:

  • After the initial clearing, a second pass will be made the following day after a major snow event.
  • Crews do their best to minimize the snow left in driveways; but, there is no way to avoid or prevent accumulation of snow on driveways and sidewalks. City crews do not clear snow from private driveways and sidewalks.


Sanding occurs both during and immediately following a snow or ice event on the primary and secondary snow routes. The proportion of sand will depend on temperature. Residential streets treated with sand will primarily be in higher traffic areas and residential streets feeding into primary or secondary snow removal routes.

How can you help with snow removal operation?

Snow plowing operations are challenging and require intense concentration. Your Public Works crews take great pride in the job they do and they work long hours keeping our streets safe. But, we need your help to operate safely and efficiently.

  • Limit on-street parking during and after snow events until the plows have cleared your street
  • If snow is left in the street due to parked cars, a plow won’t be by until the following day.
  • In emergency snow removal situations, if vehicles are not removed from the street, the Police Department will place a sticker on the window of the vehicle. Owners will then have 24 hours to move before the vehicle will be towed. ORDINACNE 277 ( See Below)
    It is against both State of Minnesota law and City Ordinance to place snow or ice back on the street when cleaning your property. No business or resident is to move snow or ice across a street without physically picking it up and moving it. If you see anyone placing snow or ice back onto the street, please contact Ada Police Department or Ada Public Works. Violators will be fined.
  • Consider timing the removal of your driveway snow until after the snow plow clears your street We understand this isn’t always possible; however, this may elevate some of the frustration of having to clear your driveway twice
  • Please provide equipment operators a wide area to maneuver, do not try to pass a snow plow and do not attempt to talk to the operator.
  • Never place garbage or recycling totes on top of snow banks.
  • Garbage removal may be delayed or cancelled in the event of a major snow fall.



Purpose. The purpose of this section is that the city believes that it is in the best interests of the residents of the city to assume basic responsibility for control of snow and ice on city streets to insure public safety. Reasonable ice and snow control is necessary for routine travel and emergency services. The city will provide such control in a safe and cost efficient manner, keeping in mind safety, budget, personnel, and environmental concerns. The purpose of this section is to enlighten the citizens of Ada as to the difficulty of snow removal and the plowing of snow when vehicles remain on the streets. Vehicles remaining on streets during snow emergencies create hazardous conditions for public street workers and unnecessary expense for the citizens of Ada.

(b)Definitions. The terms defined in this section shall have the following meanings ascribed to them:

Business district shall be defined as the following areas:

(1)West Main Street from West Second Avenue to West Sixth Avenue;

(2)East Main Street from Highway 200 to West Seventh Avenue;

(3)East Third Avenue from East Main Street to First Street East;

(4)East Fourth Avenue from East Main Street to Second Street East;

(5)West Third Avenue from West Main to the alley between West Main Street and Second Street West; and

(6)West Fourth Avenue from West Main Street to Second Street West.

Notice of snow emergency shall mean the posting of a written notice at the City Hall of the City of Ada or a public announcement on a radio station broadcasting in the Ada, Minnesota, area. Notice shall be effective two hours after the notice is posted or two hours after the first announcement of the snow emergency on the local radio station, whichever is first.

Public works director shall mean the public works director of the City of Ada or such other person as may be designated by the public works director in his absence or unavailability.

Snow emergency shall mean the condition or conditions in existence as determined by the following criteria:

(1)Snow accumulation or anticipated accumulation of two inches or more.

(2)Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel.

(3)Icy conditions which adversely affect travel.

(4)Time of snow fall in relationship to heavy use of the streets.

(c)Authority to declare emergency. The public works director shall have the authority to declare a snow emergency when conditions in the City of Ada are such that any of the criteria referred to in subsection (b) under "snow emergency" have been met.

(d)Parking during snow emergency.

(1)No motor vehicle shall be parked on a public street in the City of Ada for a period of 24 hours after a snow emergency has been declared or until the street has been completely plowed.

(2)The business district as defined in subsection (b) shall be exempted from the provisions of the preceding paragraph. There shall be no parking on public streets in the business district during the hours of 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. on any day from November 1 to the following April 1, except for the parking restrictions for East Fourth Avenue from East Main Street to Second Street East which shall be from 1:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. from November 1 to the following April 1.

(3)No parking shall be allowed in areas in which parking is restricted as indicated by signage placed there by the public works department during snow removal activities.

(e)Towing. Any vehicle parked in violation of any provision of this ordinance, 12 hours after the declaration of a snow emergency may be towed away. The owner of the vehicle shall be responsible for all towing expenses. The vehicle shall not be released until payment of said expenses.

(f)Penalties. A violation of this ordinance shall constitute a petty misdemeanor which shall be punishable by a fine up to the maximum amount set by state law for a petty misdemeanor.


(a)Declared nuisance; responsibility of owner. All snow, ice, dirt and rubbish remaining on a public sidewalk more than 12 hours after its deposit thereon is a public nuisance. The owner and the occupant of any property adjacent to a public sidewalk shall use due diligence to keep such walk safe for pedestrians. No such owner or occupant shall allow snow, ice, dirt or rubbish to remain on the walk longer than 12 hours after its deposit thereon.

(b)Removal by city upon failure of owner to abate; record of costs. The city shall remove from all public sidewalks all snow, ice, dirt and rubbish as soon as possible beginning 12 hours after any such matter has been deposited thereon or after the snow has ceased to fall. The clerk/treasurer shall keep a record showing the cost of such removal adjacent to each separate lot and parcel.

Back to
Tickets & Deals