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Mayor's Notebook: City streets, city parks, city squads

Although the weather has certainly been chilly over the past weeks, the snow and cold bring out the snowmobiles and ice fishermen, among others. It’s nice to see the trails and lakes in use.

On the other hand, our city streets seem to suffer from the same issues that are positive for the above mentioned. Just to remind everyone, the streets (and certainly my driveway) are made worse from the three times that rain arrived to freeze prior to it snowing again. We have a big sign, “Icy - Caution” stuck in a snowbank near our front door.

That being said, I’d like to share something I have learned: Putting down salt, sand or a mixture of the two when the weather is below 10 to 12 degrees does nothing except waste the products. True salt does not work below those temperatures, and sand at those temperatures just skitters along the top, so even a mixture does no good.

We can all hope for temperatures to rise before long to allow application of the mixture. When that happens, you’ll see the city trucks out using their “belly blade” to scrape down the street to allow more melting below.

After the city council “Brainstorming for the Future” meeting in January, one of the top areas was parks — park improvement, upgrades and so forth. Needless to say, Sibley Lake Park was at the top of that list because of the need for replacement of stairs (first bid was $70,000!).

In that light, the Park Board has developed a very simple survey asking residents for input on improving Sibley Park to be more user friendly. While some forms have been handed out in the neighborhood of the park, it is also online at the city website ( for everyone to use.

Just go to the city site, look on the right-hand side and scroll down until you see information about the survey. It’s VERY simple and the Park Board would truly appreciate your input, especially before its next meeting in early March.

Finally, you might be aware of concerns about police cars running unnecessarily. After carefully searching city and police policies, this issue is not covered nor mentioned. My thanks, however, to Councilman Scott Pederson who did extensive research on the issue. His research overwhelmingly supports that there are many reasons for this to occur.

I quote from Edina, Minn., Police Chief Jeff Long’s July 9, 2012, Blog on this issue, “Today’s squad cars are literally mobile offices ...” It’s a great article, please feel free to check it out.