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It’s snow inconvenient

Parking vehicles on city streets in Estherville will net a tow and fine of $30

December 6, 2019
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

At Monday evening's Estherville City Council meeting, city administrator Penny Clayton announced a sold waste and recycling rate adjustment that becomes effective with the January 31, 2019 bill. The increase amounts to $1.00 per month for residential customers.

Clayton said costs are up for employees collecting recycling over the previous contract arrangement. Six bidders vied for the contracted task of collecting recycling last year, but none of the bids was accepted and the city elected to have employees do it instead.

The change is expected to generate an additional $58,000 in revenue.

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The major business of the city at Monday's meeting was dealing with parking during snow emergencies.

Clayton said the cold, hard fact is, "If the plows go out, you take your vehicle off the street."

City staff had discussed improving the process by which the city informed residents to move cars off the street for years, and thought a threshold to trigger an automatic snow event might be best.

The resolution approved by the city council states, "A snow event shall be deemed to exist when the National Weather Service predicts a snow accumulation of two (2) or more inches in the City, or if new snow accumulation has reached two (2) inches as measured at the facilities of the KILR Radio Station. The snow event shall continue so long as snow accumulation continues and shall continue until the snow has been cleared from the street."

Vehicles remaining on the street will be ticketed for $30 and towed.

Estherville police chief Brent Shatto said in the recent snowstorm, officers found 35 cars parked on the street across the whole community. Officers knocked on doors to inform drivers to move their cars to the point they issued just 12 tickets.

Shatto said if the officers have more pressing police business to do on the snow days, they will be unable to canvass the city neighborhoods.

Clayton said information goes out on the radio station, the WENS notification system through emergency management, on the city website, and more. The Estherville News will continue to report weather news from the National Weather Service, the city of Estherville, and Emmet County Emergency Management as it becomes available.

Estherville's mayor will have the authority to declare a snow emergency based on their decision that conditions warrant, including ice accumulation, blowing snow, tree debris, or any other condition that requires streets and alleys to be cleared of parked vehicles.

In other business, the council approved the plans and specifications for the Central Avenue Bridge project after the public hearing drew no members of the public to comment. Clayton said some aspects of the project are crucial: removing the chain-link fence and replacing it with a decorative fence like the one at Lincoln Park; making the crash barriers black to match and having the electric department replace the light poles. Clayton said, "The fence replacement is absolutely needed; the railing and light post are more cosmetic."

The council also approved a payment estimate in the amount of $3,503.12 for the 2019 Street Improvement Project, and amended the fiscal year 2019-2020 city budget and approved transfers between city funds for Spurgin Park Shelter House, the dog park, and from electric emergency to TIF.

The council approved $105,825 to The Northway Corporation of Marion, Iowa for work on Well #10, and $150,370.42 to Blacktop Service Company of Humboldt for resurfacing.

The council also approved a resolution setting residency requirements for critical employees. By widening the distance radius from city limits to five miles, Clayton said the potential applicant pool for city jobs and employee satisfaction would result from city workers being able to live in the area that suits them but still gets them to town when needed.

The next meeting of the Estherville city council will be at 5 p.m. Dec. 16 in the council chambers of city hall.



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