Odd/even winter parking starts Nov. 23
The new ordinance requires vehicles be parked on odd numbered side of street on odd numbered days and even numbered addresses on even days. This applies to parking from midnight to 7 a.m.
WADENA — Without a peep from the public or new comments from city staff, a new winter parking ordinance is to be in effect starting November 23 that restricts parking overnight in an effort to allow snow removal efforts to happen with limited obstructions.
Wadena Public Works director Dan Kovar said since the first reading of the ordinance, he has heard only positive comments about the decision. The passed ordinance is different from the first suggested ordinance, which would have allowed no overnight parking during the winter months. Opponents said that option left no option for those who have no other place to park near their residence.
The council voted with all in favor of adopting the amended ordinance, except councilman Mark Lunde. Lunde shared following the meeting that his opposition to the ordinance was that they already have an ordinance that they were not enforcing that addressed the issues of snow removal. In that ordinance, vehicles on streets and avenues are required to move every 24 hours.
“I am not a believer that creating new laws to replace ones that aren't being followed or enforced is good practice,” Lunde said in an email. “Secondly, there are no ($0) savings here. This simply shifts costs and resources from one lower cost department to two higher cost departments, adds confusion and frustration to our citizens and creates more bureaucracy to an already overworked staff.”
Cost of snow removal was a key factor in the push to make the change. The added cost was coming when snow plows had to go up and down city streets multiple times attempting to clear snow when and if vehicles ever moved. No parking was meant to keep the streets wide open for removal efforts. Odd/even will still require some work to be done over multiple days. It was suggested that that would not likely result in a cost savings.
The new ordinance will take some getting used to, but city staff noted they will be sending out mailers, advertising and working to get the word out about the change to make sure the public is aware of the expectations.
Here is what you should know about this ordinance:
From November 1 - March 31 of each year, from midnight to 7 a.m., vehicles are not to park on the side of the street with odd numbered addresses on an even day; or on an even number address on an odd numbered day. So if you park your car on the street at 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 25, and plan to leave it there overnight, park it on the even side (such as 320 Jefferson Street), because once the clock hits midnight, you’ll be parked on the even side on an even day, Saturday, Nov. 26.
Upon the passing of the second reading, the ordinance is adopted once published in the official newspaper, the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
No recreational vehicles or trailers on street
Gaining full approval from the council was a new ordinance related to no parking of trailers or recreational vehicles on city streets and avenues. The council had their second and final reading on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Mayor George Deiss asked Kovar and Chief of Police Naomi Plautz if they had any further comment on this ordinance. They did not. They went into great detail on their thoughts on the change during the first reading in October.
Here’s what to know about this ordinance:
It is unlawful for any person to leave or park a recreational vehicle or trailer on or within the limits of any street or right-of-way, except where signs are erected designating the place as a campsite or in a mobile home park.
As was discussed during the first reading, this is not meant to target those who are actively using their trailer such as for a construction project, where they need to momentarily park on the street. The goal is to stop use of city streets as storage, where equipment is rarely ever moved.
Sewer service ordinance adjusted
An ordinance related to the specifics of sewer line installation was approved with a second reading on Tuesday, Nov. 15. It reads as follows:
"The size, kind, depth, slope, alignment, and methods to be used for building sewer installation, and the connection of the building sewer into the public sewer, shall comply with the requirements of the State Building and Plumbing Codes or other applicable rules and regulations of the city. The minimum size pipe, when placed underground, shall be four inches in diameter and include a 4” clean out brought to surface at right-of-way. Building sewer connections to public sewer shall be demonstrated by testing to be gas-tight and water-tight. All excavations for building sewer installation shall be adequately guarded with barricades and lights so as to protect the public from hazard. Streets, sidewalks, boulevards, and other public property disturbed in the course of the work shall be restored in a manner satisfactory to the city."
Kovar had no further comments on the topic as he went into detail during the last meeting.
The ordinance passed with all in favor.