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Mayor Conducts Informal Survey

By Staff | Feb 21, 2008

Emmetsburg Mayor John Schad is conducting an informal survey of Emmetsburg’s residents.

“These are some of the issues that were identified when I was campaigning,” Schad told members of Emmetsburg City Council.

At the beginning of the survey sheet, Schad notes: “As an Emmetsburg resident, you may have opinions on some or all of these items. If enough residents indicate they want to see a change, the item will be placed on the city council agenda for discussion.”

1. The city code now provides that there be no overnight parking on city streets. The prohibition is in effect year round. Some residents have asked that the code be modified to be in line with other cities in the area, that only prohibit parking on city streets during snow emergencies. One proposed plan would be to emulate the City of Spencer code, that allows overnight parking of vehicles, but does not allow vehicles to be parked more than 72 hours. All vehicle parking is prohibited during snow emergencies.

Emmetsburg residents are asked to respond:

“How do you feel about this plan?” (A) “I would like to see the code changed to something similar to that used in Spencer that allows overnight parking except in snow emergencies.” or (B) “I would like to see the code remain as it is and prohibit overnight parking year round.

2. Emmetsburg currently prohibits most replanting of trees in the “parking,” that strip between the sidewalk and the curb. The reason behind the prohibition is that some trees can grow roots around utility lines in that area. Some residents are upset because when a tree dies, it cannot generally be replanted, and the canopy of trees that currently is over residential streets in the summer may eventually change, because any new trees are planted outside of the parking area. Again checking with Spencer, we discovered that they encourage the replanting of trees, but specify location within the parking, and in some cases where there is a danger of entanglement with utility lines, they specify the species of tree as well.

“How do you feel about this plan?” (A) “I would like to see the city allow controlled planting of trees in the parking area.” or (B) “I would like to see the policy remain as it is now and prohibit most tree planting.

3. Many years ago Emmetsburg planted trees in the downtown area. They have now grown to considerable size and present a nice backdrop for the town. However, several of the trees have died over the years and the city has never replaced any of them. The city says that it is difficult, because the roots have grown out under the pavement and there is no place to plant a tree. However, others are saying that it may be possible to drill out enough room that a new tree could be planted. If we don’t do something, eventually we will lose the trees that have taken some 20 years to grow.

“How do you feel about this?” (A) “I would like to see the city try to replant the trees.” or (B) “I would rather let the trees die and not replace them.

4. Some years ago the city formulated a garbage collection policy that calls for a maximum of two bags per household, unless the household purchases stickers for extra bags. A suggestion has been made that an extra bag be allowed on the first garbage pickup following a major holiday. That would allow for more garbage generated by house guests that are around at holiday time. The plus side is evident, and at this point no study has been made to determine what the costs would be if an extra bag is picked up.

“Assuming that the extra pick up could be done with existing labor and little or no extra cost, how do you feel about this?” (A) “I would like to see the city pick up the extra bag.” or (B) “I would like to see things stay the way they are.”

AllEmmetsburg residents are asked to consider these proposals, indicate their preference and let the city know. Opinion sheets are available that can be mailed anonymouslu to: Emmetsburg City Hall, 2021 Main Street, Emmetsburg, IA 50536.