Winter is coming.

Winter is coming. I have always wanted to use that line. Now that I have set the bar high, I plan on talking about something mundane—winter parking rules. As we transition into winter, and hopefully snow is still a month off at least, I would like to remind everyone about the parking ordinances in town, both on a normal day and when a snow emergency is declared. The ordinance in town is that a vehicle must move every 48 hours. To comply with the ordinance, the vehicle must leave the block to be considered as having moved. Going out every two days and rolling it forward one foot does not satisfy the ordinance.

We get many complaints on this issue. Our officers handle every parking complaint we receive. The Sleepy Eye Police Department does not have a parking enforcement division. We do not log every vehicle in town every day. If you have a parking concern or complaint, you must inform us of it. We have to mark the vehicle and wait 48 hours to issue a citation.

Once a snow emergency is declared, the SEPD puts the notice out on Nixle. Nixle is a text and email notification system used by the SEPD to inform citizens. It is a free service and anyone can sign up. To sign up for email notices only, go to Nixle.com and follow the instructions. To sign up for text notices, text 56085 to 888777. This will auto-sign you up for text notifications.

Once a snow emergency is declared, all vehicles must be removed from the downtown snow emergency area by the time specified in the Nixle alert. It is usually around 10 p.m. The downtown area has snow emergency signs posted. Any vehicle that is not moved will be ticketed and towed so the plows can clear downtown.

After downtown is cleared, the plow crews clean the rest of the streets in town. They plow around cars that are parked on the streets. Vehicles that have been plowed around, must be moved to an already cleared part of the street within 24 hours. The day after a snow emergency is declared, the SEPD drives every street in town and writes a parking ticket for any vehicle that is parked in unplowed snow or in a position that makes plowing snow impossible. If you move your vehicle just in front or behind unplowed snow, so that the plow can’t clear that snow, you are still in violation of the snow emergency parking rules. Parked vehicles must allow space for plowing until the snow is cleared.

Please have a safe winter. If you have any questions please contact me so I can address them.