FAQ

Q.  How can I locate my property lines?

A.  Your property line is a line identified on a plat map as the boundary of your lot. These are generally marked by a survey marker (a pipe or metal bar) buried slightly below the ground at the corners of your property. Often the front corners are located a foot or so behind the sidewalk (toward the house). Our office can provide you with a plat drawing to assist you in locating the property pins. The Building department can be contacted by phone at 515-967-5138 or in person at the at 1504 8th St. SE (building south of the Campus).

Q.  How do I report a street light being out?

A. If a street light is out in your neighborhood, you may have the light fixed by reporting it to MidAmerican Energy at 1-888-427-5632 or at http://www.midamericanenergy.com (click on the button labeled “Submit a Streetlight Repair Request”

Q.  Does the City have a mosquito control program in place?

A.  Yes.  Mosquitoes can be dangerous with their threat of transmitting diseases, such as encephalitis to humans and heartworms to pets.  The City of Altoona periodically sprays mosquitoes starting in April until sometime in October, depending on mosquito count and weather conditions.  The City uses Kontrol 30-30 Concentrate and ULV Karrier Green.  Altoona also uses an ultra-low volume cold aerosol insecticide generator/sprayer that targets mosquitoes.  Mosquito control and your safety are important.  That is why we use chemicals and techniques that meet EPA standards.

Please contact City Hall at 967-5136 if you do not want the City to spray your area for mosquitoes, or you want to be contacted prior to the city spraying in your area.

Q.  Do city facilities close for snow?

A.  Yes and no.

The Altoona Public Library will close for inclement weather.  The library reports changes in hours to the Des Moines Register, WHO, KCCI and posts information on their website and Facebook page located at www.altoona.lib.ia.us.

City Hall, Police Department, Fire Department and Public Works/Utilities do NOT close for inclement weather but our services may be affected by the weather events.

The Altoona Campus is managed by a separate board and policies.  In regards to their closure procedures, please contact the Campus at 967-0788.

Q.  Who do I contact if my mailbox was damaged during snow operations?

A.  Please contact City Hall at 967-5136.  City Ordinance states that the City will NOT replace mailboxes damaged during normal snow removal operations.  We request that residents ensure their mailboxes are placed the appropriate distance from the roadway per USPS standards and use the appropriate materials to be able to handle the weight of snow being plowed.

Q.  I don’t think the emergency siren is working, whom do I contact?

A.  Please contact the Altoona Fire Department at 967-2216 with concerns regarding the emergency sirens.

Q.  Who do I contact about a traffic light malfunction?

A.  Please contact the Street Department at 967-2734.

Q.  Who do I contact about a pothole or damage to a road?

A.  Please contact the Street Department at 967-2734.

Q.  Who do I contact about unsafe playground equipment at the city parks?

A.  Please contact the Parks Department at 967-5203.

Q.  Who do I contact about high grass and weeds?

A.  Please contact the Building Department at 967-5138 with questions or concerns.

You can view the entire ordinance (Chapter 52) on the city website at www.altoona-iowa.com under http://www.altoona-iowa.com/download/City%20Code/Altoona%20Code%282%29.pdf  The following highlights the changes:

1.   Residential Properties: Grass and weeds are not to exceed a height of six (6) inches.

2.   Undeveloped Lots: Grass and weeds are not to exceed six (6) inches in height along the side and rear property lines for a width of 10 feet, the remaining property can have grass as high as 12 or 15 inches in height depending on what the property is zoned/utilized for.  This basically creates a maintained buffer area between undeveloped and developed properties.

3.   The public right of way adjacent to all properties: Grass and weeds are not allowed to exceed six (6) inches in height.  The right of way is described as the area between the back or edge of the street to the actual property line.

4.   Commercial and Industrial: Grass and weeds are not allowed to exceed 12 inches.

5.   Agricultural: Grass and weeds are not allowed to exceed 15 inches.

Q.  Who do I contact if the sidewalk does not get cleared of snow or ice?

A.  Please contact the Building Department at 967-5138 with questions or concerns.

All sidewalks adjacent to your property are your responsibility.  All complaint calls will be referred to the Building Department for follow-up and code enforcement.

Snow placed on sidewalks by City plows where the sidewalk meets the street is the responsibility of the property owner to remove.  City snowplows will not clear private driveways except under emergency conditions and with the approval of the supervisor on duty.  The snow placed in your driveway by the city plows is your responsibility to remove.  Please do not move snow from your driveway into the street.

Altoona City Code 136.03 amended provisions pertaining to removal of snow, ice and accumulations. The amendment allows abutting property owners to sprinkle fine cinders, sand or deicing chemicals when accumulations have formed upon any sidewalk so that it cannot be reasonably removed. The sprinkling of these materials must be done in a manner as to provide traction and prevent the sidewalk from being dangerous to persons using the sidewalk for the entire length and width.

Q.  Who do I report a barking dog nuisance or lost/stray pet to?

A.  Please contact the Police Department at 967-5132.