City of Crookston, Polk County snow and ice removal services reminder

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

This year, Crookston made it to November before its first significant snowfall of the season and the National Weather Service in Grand Forks reported 3-4 inches on Saturday, November 13 alone. 

Both the City of Crookston's and Polk County's snow and ice removal services are listed on their websites and the Times reached out to City Administrator Amy Finch and City Public Works Director Brandon Carlson, plus County Engineer Rich Sanders for additional information and comments. 

Finch and Carlson's joint response said there are no changes to the city's current policies at this time and after the weekend's snowfall the city had sent sand trucks out on Saturday afternoon and Monday.

"The Public Works department will consider potential snowfall and make case-by-case decisions during each snow event," they added.

For the county, Sanders told the Times his crews were out at 5 a.m. on Sunday.

"There was times the last couple of years after a blizzard they started at Midnight…  Just dependent on weather and when its safe to start," he added.

CITY OF CROOKSTON SNOW REMOVAL SERVICES

Snow Plowing and Street Sanding

Streets will be plowed or sanded after accumulations of 3" or more of snow, drifting that causes problems for travel, or icy conditions that seriously affect travel. Please attempt to park vehicles off the roadways during snow events so that the streets may be more efficiently plowed.

Streets will be sanded in this order:

• Intersections with traffic controls such as stop signs and signal lights.

• Hills and curves. (Generally, only controlled intersections and hill areas will be sanded due to limited resources.)

Parking Restrictions

The downtown business district is under year-round calendar parking restrictions. No parking is allowed on the north-south streets from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. No parking is allowed on the east-west streets from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. Residential parking restrictions are under effect upon the declaration of a snow emergency by the City of Crookston. Residents will be notified by KROX radio, cable TV Channel 3, and the City's instant alert system. The notification will inform residents the hours of the restriction and which side of the street parking will be restricted. Residents are encouraged to sign up for the instant alert system at City Hall. The instant alert system notifies participants by any or all of the following methods: email, text message, and phone voice message.

Note: The Times previously reported the city's sidewalk snow removal policy. More information can be found at https://www.crookston.mn.us/ns/residents/services or by contacting the Public Works Department at (218) 281-5711.

POLK COUNTY SNOW AND ICE CONTROL POLICY

Polk County does not have a bare road policy and does not assure a completely bare

road. Entire sections of roadway are not usually salted. Users of the road system are reminded to exercise caution and drive with care. The legal speed limit may not be possible at all times.

Dispatching of Snow Plows

The decision to plow and/or sand will be made by the Highway Engineer and/or Maintenance Supervisor, based on the following guidelines:

1. The County will not dispatch plows until after the snowfall and/or wind has stopped, EXCEPT: (a) in an emergency or other special circumstances; or (b) when conditions allow reasonable accomplishments to be made.

2. The County will perform snow removal on bituminous surfaced roads when we receive appreciable accumulations, generally 1 to 2 inches. 1” of wet heavy snow or 2” light snow will be used as a general rule of thumb.

3. The County will perform snow removal on gravel roads when accumulations exceed four (4) inches. Gravel roads will not be plowed in early season until snow pack has been formed.

4. The County will perform ice control measures when icy conditions seriously affect travel.

Hours of Operation: The County is staffed for one shift of snow and ice removal. The normal weekday early start time during a snow event is between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Weekends and holidays will receive a reduced level of service, due to lower traffic volumes and the limited resources available. Operations will be halted when: (a) service levels are reached; (b) coverage time has elapsed; (c) conditions are too hazardous; or (d) reasonable accomplishments cannot be made.

Plowing Priorities: It is the goal of the Highway Department to serve the majority of the public in the quickest way possible. Roads with higher traffic volumes will typically receive higher priority. The following are the priorities plow operators will strive to adhere to:

1. County bituminous surfaced roads, starting with high collection areas close to town and working out towards rural areas thereafter.

2. County gravel surfaced roads.

3. Township roads (unorganized town roads and those done on a contract basis)

More information can be found at https://www.co.polk.mn.us/DocumentCenter/View/398/Snow-and-Ice-Control-Policy-PDF or call the Polk County Highway Department at (218) 281-3972 during normal business hours (M-F, 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.)

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