Osseo updates snow removal, emergency policies

Council moves step closer to Five Central project reality

The Osseo City Council during its Monday, May 13 meeting, adopted its ordinance amendment of the city code for snow removal and prohibited parking. 

In a related matter, the council approved the city’s snow emergency policy.

The council also approved another step in the Five Central project. Two new part-time police officers were also sworn in during the meeting.

A separate story will appear in next week’s paper on other council action items.



The council once again looked at the ordinance amendment to the city code regarding declaring a snow emergency and prohibited parking. The council originally approved the first reading of the amendment in February, but has since been clarifying the language of the ordinance.

City Administrator Doug Reeder said the added language included people should not park their vehicles on the street after a snow emergency has been declared in the city. No cars would be allowed on the streets between midnight and 6 a.m. for a snow fall equal or greater than 2 inches. He added a snow emergency would have be to declared by 10 p.m.

“We have removed the language that talks about ‘curb to curb’ in this ordinance because there is always a question of what does curb to curb look like,” Reeder added. “What we are hearing is that curb to curb looks different to a lot of people.”

The ordinances states the city is authorized to “issue citations and/or” remove violating vehicles or cause them to be removed. The owner is also responsible for the actual costs of removal and storage.

The council then unanimously approved the second reading and adoption of the ordinance amending the city code regarding snow removal parking.

In a related matter, the council also accepted the new Snow Emergency Policy. The policy states that a public works employee or on-duty Police Officer will measure the now at the Public Works parking lot to determine if 2 inches of snow has fallen. At that point a snow emergency would be declared before 10 p.m.

Residents would be notified of a snow emergency in several different ways. A snow emergency banner will appear on the front page of the city’s website. Residents may also be notified by email by submitting their email address on the city’s website. A message of a snow emergency will also appear on the city’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. Area television stations will also be contacted to alert them of the city’s snow emergency. A message will also appear on the monument scrolling reader board. Finally, a phone recording will be activated on the City Hall main line, the Police Department main line and the Public Services main line.

Reeder said city staff will work with area churches and other private locations to see if they would be willing to allow people to park their cars temporarily during a snow emergency. Signs would be put in place on public parking lots available during snow emergencies.

Snow removal crews would also try to minimize snow blocking driveways and alleys whenever possible.

Councilor Mark Schulz said he would like the plow routes to be addressed again next snow season to make sure the former Osseo Elementary site is on a main route if the building was in use by the Osseo Area School District.



Also during the meeting, the council moved forward with making the Five Central Project a reality. The project consists of a three-story apartment building with 71 units and underground parking. The project would be located on the Block 6 redevelopment site (block just north of Osseo City Hall, between First Avenue N.W. and Central Avenue, and Fifth Street N.W. and Sixth Street N.W.).

City Planner Riley Grams said the Beard Group, the developer, was before the council to seek final site plan approval for the project, which is scheduled to break ground in June. He added this final site plan has no significant changes from the site plan approved by the Planning Commission and all the conditions of approval from city staff were satisfied.

The council approved the final site plan by the Beard Group for the proposed Five Central development project.



The council also witnessed the swearing in of two new part-time police officers at the beginning of the meeting. The new officers are Mark Bergeron and Mark Ringgenberg.

Police Chief Tom Hartkopf said Bergeron is Brooklyn Park Police Sergeant and Ringgenberg is a police officer with Maple Grove Police. These two part-time officers will fill shifts for full-time Osseo Police Officers that are on vacation.

Chief Hartkopf added both officers would be a great asset to the department.