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Estherville City Council Officials discuss snow emergency procedures

Residents can receive alerts through WENS

January 17, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

The Estherville City Council and city staff on Monday discussed the snow emergency declared on the night of Jan. 10, after an accumulation of up to 6 inches was predicted.

Estherville officers went around the city during the 10 p.m. shift and wrote 52 tickets for cars still parked on the street. Nineteen of the 52 cars was towed.

"The emergency was not cancelled; it was effective until about 8 a.m.," Clayton said.

It's understandable, Clayton said, that some drivers are frustrated because the emergency did not result in much snow this time.

The city and the police department sat down to figure out a better way to communicate.

One of these methods has been in effect in the county: Emmet County WENS (Wireless Emergency Notification System). Residents throughout Emmet County can sign up on the website for the kinds of alerts they wish to receive, and the locations of non-emergency information. (

The city also sends emergency information through the radio station, the Estherville News, and on social media.

Police Chief Brent Shatto said, "It takes our officers 1 1/2 to 3 hours to cover the town if there are no other police calls. It's quite a bit of their time to cover the whole town trying to personally notify people."

WENS notifications can come by text, voice call or email to Emmet County residents, according to its website.

In other business Monday:

Mayor Kenny Billings named at-large council member Gene Haukoos as Mayor Pro-Tem.

The council also paid an estimate in the amount of $375,048.71 from Tri-State Paving for the 2017 Street Improvements Project and approved a set of invoices in the amount of $308,177.76 from Wheeler World, Inc. for the overhaul of Unit #4.

City administrator Penny Clayton said the city's financial statement reflects capital projects budgeted last year and paid this year.

"We will need to do a water rate increase," Clayton said.

The next meeting of the Estherville City Council will take place at 5 p.m. in the council chambers of Estherville City Hall, and move to the Estherville Public Library at approximate 5:30 p.m. for the annual library report.



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