After one day of odd, one day of even and a lot of phone calls from residents, calendar parking is done in North Mankato.

The wintertime parking restrictions instituted on Monday — which required residents to move vehicles daily from one side of the street to the other based on the day of the month — prompted a public outcry that caused the North Mankato City Council to reconsider.

“I know you’ve received a fair amount of input,” City Administrator Wendell Sande said at Tuesday night’s council meeting. “... If you wish to make changes, obviously tonight would be the opportune time.”

“I wish to make changes,” Councilman Bill Schindle said.

So did the other three members of the council on hand Tuesday.

The new system will be the old one: vehicles will only have to be moved when snow emergencies are called to allow snow plows to clear the streets unimpeded by parked cars.

One thing will change, the council warned. Unlike in the past, the city won’t hesitate to call snow emergencies. And when one is called, cars will be ticketed — with a tripled fine of $15 — and they will be towed, with the accompanying tow charge of $54.50.

“We are insisting that you are going to call snow emergencies,” Mayor Gary Zellmer told Sande.

“Understood,” Sande responded.

The city was increasingly struggling to keep streets cleared, partly because the number of streets is growing and the Public Works Department staff isn’t and partly because of the city’s historic reluctance to call snow emergencies.

Wanting to avoid the unhappiness that snow-emergency towing causes, North Mankato staff instead would repeatedly send plow trucks to streets where parked cars had prevented a street from being properly cleared of snow. With increasingly tight budgets due to state aid reductions to cities, that approach couldn’t continue.

“We can’t do that anymore,” Zellmer said. “We can’t go back five or six times.”

The staff’s answer — accepted by the council for implementation Monday — was calendar parking. That system would have ensured that one side of every street was wide open for plowing every day — allowing crews over a two-day period to clean up lingering piles of snow during regular work hours.

But people disliked like the idea of being forced to move vehicles daily from Nov. 1 to April 1, even during period when there was no new snow. In fact, they really disliked it.

During the agenda item when the mayor announces any letters of interest he’s received, Zellmer hinted at the 25 or so contacts he’s had on the issue.

“I had plenty of correspondence over the last week. I don’t think I’m going to read any of it,” Zellmer said. “For the person who wanted me to resign, I’m not going to do it.”

But Zellmer, like the rest of the council, was ready to accept Schindle’s suggestion that the short-lived experiment come to an immediate end. Schindle’s motion was seconded by everybody.

“Maybe it won’t ring as much,” Schindle said of his phone.

“Till the first snow emergency, Bill,” Zellmer replied.

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