City council deals with snow emergency parking, use for vacant lot

Seth Weber and Seth Weber

Although Sunday’s snow emergency only lasted a few hours, cars blocking streets for snow plows continue to be a problem.

“We ended up with too many people who just didn’t understand,” Municipal Administrator John Fawcett said.

32 vehicles were ticketed and 15 of those were towed, he said.

The city attempts to reach out to residents through email and social media, Fawcett said.

Resident Dallas Black was unhappy with the city’s practice of ticketing because he claimed to have been ticketed before enough snow was on the ground.

“I don’t know if I want to live in a town that tickets and tows the way we do,” he said.

He was also upset that the city did not take credit cards for payment of tickets and called it “extortion.”

At-large council member Bruce Jeffers highlighted the importance of clearing streets.

“A very important point here is that we need to keep our snow streets clear,” he said. “It’s unfortunate when someone gets a ticket or gets towed.”

Council also touched upon the vacant lot located on the former junior high school.

The city had an open forum earlier yesterday about what to do with the lot.

“I’m glad with the amount of people that turned out tonight,” said at-large council member Sandy Rowland.

Council President Michael Aspacher said there are multiple ideas about what to do with the space, but finances still need to be addressed.

No money has officially been dedicated to the project, but it will be addressed, Aspacher said.

Resident Steve Doyle suggested that the council could consider a public trust or private funding to finance the space. Aspacher said “all options are on the table.”

Also at council:

Fawcett announced his retirement from municipal administrator, effective July 1.

“Lord knows you’ve dedicated many years of service,” Aspacher said to Fawcett. “I just wanted to publicly thank you for your service.”