Ordinance prevents Mpls from calling Snow Emergency in April

11:24 AM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - A snowfall of up to 10 inches in December would be likely to trigger a Snow Emergency in the city of Minneapolis.

In April... not so much.

A post on the city's Twitter account Wednesday morning shared what Cheers know-it-all postman Cliff Clavin might call a "little known fact": It is against city ordinance in Minneapolis to call a Snow Emergency after April 1.

The post reads:

We thought we wouldn't be posting again until November. Guess you can never be too sure.

City ordinance says we can't declare a snow emergency after April 1, but we still have crews out today treating the streets and clearing the snow. With even more snow predicted for Minneapolis, they'll be out again tonight and tomorrow.

Although it sounds a bit unreasonable in a state where snow can fall deep into spring, Public Works Director Mike Kennedy says the policy actually makes sense. Snow Emergencies are "less about plowing than it is about solving a parking problem."

In the midst of winter, Kennedy says, calling a Snow Emergency allows city plows to move snow almost all the way to the curb. Cars must be moved to allow such plowing.

In April, even though a 10-inch snowfall can be problematic, air, ground and pavement temperatures ensure that the snow won't be around long. That means curb to curb plowing is not necessary.  

Kennedy says the city will always plow during and after a snow event like the one predicted for Wednesday and Thursday, even though snow equipment had been pulled off most of the trucks usually used to plow, salt and sand. He tells KARE 11 that plows are being re-hung on a number of dump trucks, and a dozen of the 40 trucks usually used to salt and sand will be re-fitted.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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