Ask the Chief
Keeping informed in Minneota We are living in the days of information technology so that one does not have to go very far to be flooded with news and current events.
In Minneota, we recognize that technology is a major part of our daily lives and we utilize that technology to keep you informed. Starting in 2014, we developed a city Facebook page titled — City of Minneota Government and Police Department.
On this page, you will find everything from important community notices, safety and security warnings and uplifting posts to help you through the week.
Other Facebook pages used by the city include "Minneota Summer Rec", "Minneota Pool", and "City of Minneota Fire Department".
We understand that not everyone is on Facebook, so in 2014 we also started using the NIXLE messaging program.
This is a FREE text messaging service where you will receive important text messages from the City of Minneota.
These messages cover Snow Emergencies, street closures, changes to garbage/recycling pick-up, active criminal activity and missing persons.
You can sign up for this FREE service by texting — 56264 to 888777. You will then receive a confirmation message saying you are signed up.
As a third method of keeping you informed, we utilize the major radio stations in Marshall. We notify them when we have urgent or important community information such as travel warnings or snow emergencies and they broadcast the message.
It’s our hope that by using these three forms of technology that we are able to reach 90 percent or more of our community.
For those who don't have Facebook, a cell phone or listen to the radio, we ask that your friends and family help you out by keeping you informed.
Here is an example of how this system works.
Whenever someone moves to Minneota and comes to city hall to sign up for their utilities, we talk to them about Facebook, Nixle and the radio station messages.
We provide them with the information as to how to get signed up and we discuss with them the city ordinances that are specific to Minneota.
If someone is renting a property and they are not paying for their utilities, we expect the landlords to pass on this information to their renters.
Once you are signed up on Facebook or NIXLE, then you simply wait to be notified or see a post. In the event that we are expecting two or more inches of snow, the head of the street department and I will meet and determine if a snow emergency is needed.
If we decide to declare a snow emergency, it will be done by 4 p.m. telling people that we will be plowing and issuing parking tickets at 4 a.m. the following morning.
This gives people twelve or more hours to learn about the snow emergency and find off street parking.
At 4 a.m., I patrol the community and issue tickets to any vehicle I find parked on the street.
These tickets cost $42 and are paid to the state.
The reason we declare a Snow Emergency and prohibit on street parking is so that we can do a better job at snow removal and minimize the need to plow streets multiple times.
Snow plows must slow down and drive around vehicles which are parked on the street. This causes snow to be left on the street and the reduced speed of the plow truck means the snow will not be thrown onto the boulevard but rather collected at the curb which causes streets to narrow over time.
Your tax dollars pay for the snow plowing and we try to save you money by being as efficient as possible.
Before I became Chief, I was told that it was not uncommon to see 50, 60 or even 100 cars parked on the street while plowing was going on.
By educating the public and enforcing the ordinance, we have between 0-12 cars parked on the street during a snow emergency.
As a final thought, someone has suggested the city invest in a digital sign at city hall that would provide this information to the community.
The sign would be similar to what the Minneota K-12 school has and would provide a very easy way of staying informed.
These signs are expensive and I suspect it would require either donations or a tax increase.