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Erik Burgess, Published February 21 2013

Moorhead snow parking rules in effect today, Friday

MOORHEAD – A snow removal declaration is in effect today and Friday in the “blue” snow district near Minnesota State University Moorhead, Concordia and Eventide.

Parking restrictions for streets and avenues within the snow district are as follows:

After 8 p.m., the standard parking regulations apply.

Vehicles parked in the no-parking areas will be towed at their owners’ expense. The typical fee to retrieve a towed car is $95.

For a brief moment, it appeared today’s declaration was canceled by the city before it even started. Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, an update to the city’s Facebook page incorrectly said the snow removal declaration was off, just an hour after a post declared the snow removal regulations would be in effect today and Friday.

City Manager Michael Redlinger said there was an “automated computer glitch” in the system that the city uses to update its Facebook and Twitter pages. More than 200 residents who have registered for snow district alerts also received an erroneous email blast, he said.

When the automated update was first sent out Wednesday morning declaring a snow removal, it linked to an incorrect page that said there was no snow removal declared. In order to correct the link, staff had to “cancel” the first update and send out another one.

He said the erroneous posts were visible for less than two hours. Information sent to media and the campuses was correct, and the campuses reported no issues, he said.

Redlinger said the city will be providing a “courtesy service” this morning in hopes of reducing tows. Two police volunteers, a fire and police shift supervisor and campus security at MSUM and Concordia will patrol no-parking areas to warn people if they are parked in a tow-away zone.

Redlinger said the patrol would run for at least three hours, starting at 7 a.m. today. They were to reassess the need at around 10 a.m. He did not say if they would back on patrol Friday.

“We’re not going to do this for every event in future years, but it may be that we just need to more of this proactive work for the first or second time of each season,” he said.

MSUM will be opening its general parking lots today and Friday to those without parking permits.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518

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