Wadena City Council wants revenues to decrease by $10,000
Council to spend some funds generated from parking violations on signs to better inform the public about the city's winter parking ordinance.
WADENA – The Wadena City Council is hoping $10,250 in revenue drops from the ledger next winter.
During the monthly Wadena City Council meeting on April 11, the council was informed the unbudgeted revenue came from parking violations this past winter.
The city enacted a winter parking ordinance in November 2022. The ordinance prohibits parking on various sides of city streets from midnight until 7 a.m. between Nov. 1 and March 31.
Council members noted they hope the winter parking violation revenues decrease next year, and discussed ways to use ticket funds to increase awareness of the ordinance.
The City Council agreed to use some of the funds to purchase signage to notify residents and visitors of the winter parking ordinance. The signs approved to be ordered were said to measure 24 inches by 30 inches, which was noted to be the largest legal sign size allowed by MnDOT. Notification signs are to be placed at the entrances of the city, and other areas are yet to be determined.
Other measures to make residents aware of the winter parking ordinance included notifying landlords to remind them to tell new tenants of the ordinance, as well as asking if the Wadena Chamber of Commerce would include a pamphlet in their welcome baskets.
After signs are purchased, the council approved remaining funds from parking violation fees to be used for streets, parks and other items “that are in the best interest of the city and community.”
The council also agreed to send unpaid parking tickets to a collection agency. The city had been going through the court system, which came at a cost to the city. It was noted a collection agency would take a percentage of the fee collected.
The council was informed of the winter ordinance ticket practice this past year. In November, yellow courtesy tickets were placed on windshields, with citations beginning in December. According to information presented to the council, there were 515 tickets issued. Of those, 96 citations were written in December, 161 in January, 122 in February and 136 in March.
Violators were given two weeks to pay the citation. When it came to the citations not being paid, the state and court citations issued included 46 in December, 53 in January and 23 in February. It was noted the total number of tickets going to court for nonpayment in the month of March was not known at the time of the council meeting.
During the snowfall parking restrictions, there were about four to eight vehicles towed each time, the council was told.
After reviewing the ordinance and how it assisted the city workers with keeping the streets clean, the council agreed to leave the ordinance as is for the next winter season.