WILLMAR -- The City of Willmar Public Works Department declared a snow emergency in the central business district from 1 to 5 a.m. today.
The area affected is bounded by First to Seventh Streets Southwest and from Trott Avenue to the Highway 12 bypass. Any vehicles parked on the streets during this time were towed at the owner's expense.
The Old Town Area is exempt from the snow emergency under the city's snow policy, according to Mel Odens, city public works director.
The snow policy refers to the central business district as a separate area of the city, but officials have the latitude to define the limits of the snow emergency in the central business district, said Odens.
"When we define the limits, we exclude Old Town,'' he said.
Odens said some cars parked on the street in Old Town were towed by mistake by the police department during a snow emergency during the middle of last week.
Police Chief Jim Kulset said Old Town has generally been included in the past but was not included by the Public Works Department in the most recent snow emergencies.
He acknowledged one or two cars were tagged and towed by mistake and he said the tows were forgiven.
With the recent snow, Kulset reminds all city residents that municipal ordinance states "no vehicle ... shall be parked or left standing at the curb on any street or avenue or any public place in the city of Willmar for more than 48 hours at any one time.''
Kulset said the police department will strictly enforce this ordinance. Vehicles in violation will be ticketed and towed at the owner's expense, he said.