NYA Council reviews snow emergency routes

Public Works Director Brent Aretz encourages the NYA City Council to approve a street improvement project on Monday night. (NYA Times staff photo by Adam Gruenewald)

“This has been the worst year we’ve had for cars on the street,” said NYA Public Works Director Brent Aretz. “No one knows there’s snow emergencies routes or anything.” (NYA Times staff photo by Adam Gruenewald)

Given consistent snowfall all winter, NYA Public Works Director Brent Aretz reminds residents to observe snow emergency and parking routes.
Aretz addressed the concern with NYA City Council members on Monday, Jan. 27, and reiterated the difficulty again after additional snowfall last Thursday.
“This has been the worst year we’ve had for cars on the street,” said Aretz. “No one knows there’s snow emergencies routes or anything… It’s just been horrendous for all of us.”
Section 720.02 of the city code, Restricted Parking During Snowfall and Blowing Snow, states that “No person shall park or leave a motorized vehicle on any street within the City during or after a snowfall or a period of blowing snow until the snow has been removed from the street.”
A few weekends ago, Aretz and an officer counted 35 to 40 cars on streets and main streets in town, which remains a problem.
“Even on our main streets, Elm Street and Main Street, where it says no parking from November to April we’ve had five cars on every street parking during that time,” said Aretz.
While the winter weather is gradually winding down, Aretz and city staff have had some informal talks regarding changing the snow emergency routes to better address the concern in the future.
“We’re trying to do a good job for the public to get out there and to get to your jobs and where you need to go,” he said.
Aretz also told the council that the training of new city employees, Chad Schrupp and Jason Kloempken, is going well.
Both started in September and Aretz has taught them how to limit salt and brine use.
Aretz has been keeping his longstanding practice of not over salting, which has helped the city go from using 600 tons to 350 tons of salt per year.
For his efforts, Aretz and the City of NYA have received an award from the Freshwater Society, the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving, restoring, and protecting freshwater resources.
In other news, the council approved program expenses for summer recreation for Community Education, approved a revision of the contract for Christie Rock Hantge as economic development director and approved some changes in the duties required by the personnel committee.
The council also reviewed a recent conciliation court decision in favor of a resident whose driveway was damaged during the 2013 mill and overlay project.
The result was a charge of $2,080, which covered the resident’s court fees and the cost of replacing the driveway.
City Administrator Steve Helget, who was in talks with City Attorney Jay Squires, said the League of Minnesota Cities could either appeal the decision or file suit against GMH Asphalt based on contract language.
Helget explained that the city could pay the amount, appeal to district court or pay the amount and have League of Minnesota Cities file a suit on their behalf.
“They feel very strongly that we’re in a very strong position here,” said Helget. “They feel they can get this money back.”
The city has a deductible of $5,000 with League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, Helget added.
“We could end up spending more money,” said Helget, not advising an appeal to district court. “It’s been a deterrent moving ahead on this.”
Council members agreed to pay the fee for now and have the League file a suit against GMH Asphalt and possibly their insurance company for the funds.
The NYA City Council will next meet on Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Contact Adam Gruenewald at adam.gruenewald@ecm-inc.com.

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