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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Sleepy Eye City Council considers adopting snow emergency policy

  • A new snow removal policy is in the works that would include a first-ever designated snow emergency in the city of Sleepy Eye.
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  • A new snow removal policy is in the works that would include a first-ever designated snow emergency in the city of Sleepy Eye.
    The current city ordinance for snow removal, adopted in 1901, was before loaders and dump trucks began clearing snow and hauling it away.
    At last week's council meeting councilors mulled over the idea of making it illegal to park from midnight to 6 a.m. or until snow is plowed curb to curb and hauled away in designated areas.
    "What is concerning is the downtown highway area where cars can be in the way when the city does their snow removal," said City Manager Mark Kober. "What would happen (with a change of policy) is that a snow emergency would be declared and cars would need to be out of the designated areas from the time the snow emergency is declared until the street is plowed curb to curb." 
    The snow emergency route would include Highway 4 from 9th Ave. NW and SW to 12th Ave. NE and SE, 1st Ave. N and S from Oak St. NE and NW to Walnut St. SE and SW. In the event that a snow emergency is called, local news media outlets would be notified, giving residents at least two hours to move their vehicles.
    Kober explained that if the city adopts a snow removal policy that includes declaring a snow emergency, the cars not moved from the designated route will be subject to being ticketed and towed at the owners' expense.
    According to John Schueller, Sleepy Eye Police Chief, the total cost for towing a vehicle illegally parked during a snow emergency includes a $25 parking ticket, the towing fee and a $15 storage fee per day. To collect a towed vehicle, according to Schueller, proof of insurance must be shown, the licensed driver must be present and all fees must be paid before the car is released.
    Snow emergency signs will be posted one per block on each side with a standard snow emergency route sign indicating no parking during a snow emergency. More details of how the snow emergency will be declared will be included in future utility bills.
    A new policy for snow removal will be brought to the council at a future meeting for approval.
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