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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - It's not official, but it appears the Rochester City Council is ready to shorten the length of the time the city's seasonal parking ordinance will be in effect.

Acting on an earlier request by City Councilmember Shaun Palmer, the Council reviewed the ordinance during a study session on Monday and a majority of the elected officials expressed support for modifying the ordinance to have it take effect later in the fall and end earlier in the spring. The current ordinance restricts parking to only one side of the street on an odd-even basis from October 1st through May 1st. City staff brought forward a recommendation to trim one month off both the start and end dates for the parking restrictions.

Councilmember Palmer suggested an even shorter period, with the restrictions in place from November 15th through mid-March. City staff responded by expressing concerns about how that would impede fall street sweeping efforts to keep fallen leaves and other debris from entering the stormwater system.

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A presentation by city staff also estimated the current ordinance saves the city approximately $165,000 a year by making the plowing and street sweeping process more efficient. It was also noted that the city has seen a 75 percent reduction in damage claims related to winter maintenance activities over the past two years.

A vote on the proposed change to the ordinance will be brought to the City Council for a vote at a future meeting.

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