Snow removal and road conditions were mentioned as common complaints yet again at the Little Falls City Council work session, Monday.

At the previous meeting, on the Dec. 16, 2019 council members said there were several complaints about snow and ice buildup on roads. The main reasons seemed to be tight staffing and blade equipment settings.

But this week, solutions strayed from plowing procedures and landed on parking regulations.

Council Member Leif Hanson was the first to bring up the issue of cars parking long term on the roads. He said that he’s seen cars in town that haven’t moved in days and wondered what could be done.

Plow drivers can’t do anything directly about a car on the side of the road, but they can report it to the Police Department, said Police Chief Greg Schirmers.

“When it’s brought to our attention, we definitely go deal with it right away,” he said.

Many Little Falls streets have 24-hour parking, unless otherwise noted, so residents may not see a need to move their car, which if parked long enough, can disrupt road cleanup.

“I’d like to see us look at implementing some kind of snow emergency (parking). Not on every street, but getting the cars off of First Street, getting cars off of Fourth Street, Sixth Street,” Hanson said. “I’m just talking southeast because that’s in my neighborhood and that’s what I notice.”

Hanson said that residents parked long-term can “cause a mess that lasts for weeks.” And that he notices some people move their car and clean up the area they parked in, but other residents only clean enough to move their vehicle.

Mayor Greg Zylka said that if changes were made to parking regulations, he’d rather see them throughout the city instead of on select streets. Picking and choosing areas to regulate can be complicated and that the Council has looked for solutions in years past, Zylka said.

A complaint Zylka said he’s heard numerous times has involved residents parking in front of their neighbor’s home so that the space in front of their house can be cleaned, which leaves the neighbor with a mess.

Hanson, Zylka and Raquel Lundberg all discussed examples of other communities’ parking rules involving parking on certain street sides certain days.

Zylka said that solution has been looked into, but is complicated because both the northeast and southeast sides of the city have inconsistent house and street numbers.

“Eagan uses odd and even sides. So you just know if you’re on the odd side, you can only park on the odd side on odd days,” Lundberg said.

Hanson also mentioned that Duluth has an alternating schedule for parking, and that the point would be that only one side of the street would have parking on any given day.

Council members acknowledged that plow drivers would have to change their schedules if new parking rules were implemented, and likely would have to plow two day in a row to cover both sides of the street.

Hanson said he definitely wants to continue the conversation at a later date.

In other business Monday, the Little Falls City Council:

• Re-elected Brad Hircock as council president and Jerry Knafla as vice president;

• Approved an agreement with LETG software records manager to migrate services at a cost of $8,000 to be reimbursed in phases;

• Postponed a vote on a service agreement with Giant Worldwide for staff leadership training services until details are finalized;

• Accepted the retirement notification of Fire Chief Mike Nieman and firefighter Anthony Lukasavitz;

• Approved the position description update and posting for a new fire chief; and

• Approved vacating certain rights of way on Ninth and 10th Avenue Southeast including alleyways.

The next meeting of the Little Falls City Council is Monday, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Little Falls City Council Briefs

In other business Monday, the Little Falls City Council:•Re-elected Brad Hircock as council president and Jerry Knafla as vice president;•Approved an agreement with LETG software records manager to migrate services at a cost of $8,000 to be reimbursed in phases;•Postponed a vote on a service agreement with Giant Worldwide for staff leadership training services until details are finalized;•Accepted the retirement notification of Fire Chief Mike Nieman and firefighter Anthony Lukasavitz;•Approved the position description update and posting for a new fire chief; and•Approved vacating certain rights of way on Ninth and 10th Avenue Southeast including alleyways.The next meeting of the Little Falls City Council is Monday, Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

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