City Council Discusses City Snow Removal
The Emmetsburg City Council met on Tuesday, Jan. 23. The meeting was originally scheduled for Jan. 22, but it was postponed due to weather. All councilmembers were in attendance except for Todd Bell.
During the report of officers’ section of the meeting, City Administrator John Bird reminded the council that the next meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 12 at noon. The new City Administrator, Travis Cooke, will begin his responsibilities on Monday, Jan. 29. Emmetsburg Chief of Police, Ryan Veldboom commented that his move into the Chief position was very smooth. The Emmetsburg Police Department is also currently hiring a secretary; numerous qualified applicants have already submitted their resumes. Public Properties Director Frank Kliegl reported that City Snow Removal crew worked through the night Tuesday to clear Emmetsburg City streets before the commute Monday morning.
“Something we need to discuss at some point in time is the- there’s a lot of snow left on sidewalks because it was heavy wet. It stretches back onto the sidewalk some places two to three feet,” Kliegl explained. “We’re probably going to get the phone calls saying that we have ridges on those curb lines, back. It’s not our jobs to shovel the sidewalks though. That’s something that’s just going to come about in time.”
“I sometimes think the store owners are at a disadvantage too,” Mayor Myrna Heddinger stated. “They try to scoop off, and then the State plow comes along and plows all that back up. If they put it on the street, they do the same thing again. I don’t know what to do.”
“I noticed a couple of private parking lots plowed out onto the street and piled up on the street,” Councilman Ryan Berkland noted. “Do we talk to those people? Do we remind them of the ordinance and that sort of thing?”
“I’ve talked to them in the past and didn’t really get anywhere with it,” Kliegl replied. “We’ve got the code; we’ve handed the code out to all the business owners last year. We didn’t do it this year. But another thing we could do, and I’ve thought about, is if you’re going to plow snow for hire in the city limits of Emmetsburg; if we require a permit that you’re going to do this and make money if you’re a private hauler, private mover. Then should have to come to City Hall, get a permit, and then we instruct you on how our code is. So then it falls on the person that’s moving the snow.”
“It’s just like grass clippings. We can address those issues as they arise,” Veldboom added.
“I would think if they got a ticket or two for unlawful deposit in the street that they would probably find a better way to do it,” Bird stated.
“I would look at handling it like we do our normal grass clippings in the summer,” Veldboom commented. “Usually we make a contact with the owner or who’s ever doing the mowing and address the issue and give them an opportunity to fix it. If it gets to be habitual then we start looking at citations. We always want to give them that opportunity. Now granted they should know pushing snow out in the middle of the road is not acceptable; it’s against the code.”
An item in new business on Tuesday night was to consider amending the city code related to changing the makeup of the Community Center Board. The current members of the board indicated that they think an ECDC member should remain on the board. The City Council agreed and no action was taken to amend the code at this time.
The next meeting of the Emmetsburg City Council will be held on Monday, Feb. 12 at noon.