Adjacent property owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their sidewalk (Iowa Code 2019, Section 364.12). This includes the removal of tripping hazards such as cracking, buckling, or uneven sidewalk, and snow clearing in the winter. Property owners should undertake repairs if they see their sidewalk has safety issues.
Below is a general outline to assist property owners in making repairs:
- Secure the necessary permits
- Hire a contractor bonded with the City
- Meet the repair deadline (if you were notified of repairs following an inspection)
- Apply for partial reimbursement
Sidewalks are located in public right-of-way, which requires a permit before construction may begin. Permit application fees may apply. You will need to secure one of the following:
- Application for Public Right-of-Way Permit
- Application for Public Right-of-Way Permit - Direct Access Driveway Construction (to be used when constructing sidewalk in the driveway)
Hiring a Contractor
The City provides a list of contractors who are bonded with the City. Using a bonded contractor also makes you eligible for partial reimbursement.
The City offers partial reimbursement to property owners who undertake sidewalk repairs themselves, or who use an owner-hired contractor bonded with the City.
To qualify for reimbursement:
- Make sure the City has a current inspection report on file for your property
- Complete the repairs by the deadline provided in the City’s official notice
- Print and complete the Reimbursement Registration Form
- Return Reimbursement Registration Form with copies of invoices or receipts.
Invoices/Receipts should be from verifiable businesses. Examples include: Specified concrete, concrete forms, curing compound, reinforcing steel, stone under paving, concrete disposal charges, tool rental and traffic control. Non-acceptable examples: labor, tools that can be reused and backfill dirt.
The City’s standard reimbursement is determined each year. The current reimbursement rate is 35% of the standardized unit price per square foot of sidewalk, which is currently determined as $9 per square foot.
Example: Property owner provides a receipt and reimbursement request form showing that they replaced 80 square feet of sidewalk. The standard reimbursement would be calculated as:
80 square feet x $9 per square foot x 35% = $252
Snow and Ice Removal
During the winter months, it is important to maintain clear and safe sidewalks and sidewalk ramps in order to ensure that residents can access their sidewalk, bus stop, or routes to businesses. Property owners and private businesses are responsible for their sidewalk and adjacent sidewalk ramps at intersections.
After a storm ends, residents and businesses have 48 hours to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice accumulations.
How can residents report problems?
Call the Solid Waste and Recycling Department at 319-286-5897 or email the complaint, with an address of the property in violation, to SolidWaste&Recycling@cedar-rapids.org. The City will not log any complaints until 48 hours have passed since the end of the storm or snow event.
- Sidewalk Assessment Policy (updated March 2017)
- Sidewalk Installation Policy (updated February 2012)
- Sidewalk Repair and Reimbursement Policy (updated March 2015)
- Sidewalk Reimbursement Registration Form
- Financial Assistance Policy on Sidewalk Repair (updated March 2015)
- *Application available upon request
- FAQ Sidewalk Repair and Reimbursement
- Sidewalk Information for Builders
- Sidewalk Bonded Contractors