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Streetside parking ban of trailers, campers denied, but other ordinances remain

The Mitchell City Council wasn't hesitant to speak out against a streetside parking ban of trailers, campers and boats initially brought forth by Mayor Jerry Toomey, but Mitchell residents will still have to follow existing parking ordinances.

The Mitchell City Council wasn't hesitant to speak out against a streetside parking ban of trailers, campers and boats initially brought forth by Mayor Jerry Toomey, but Mitchell residents will still have to follow existing parking ordinances.

After several minutes of discussion regarding the public's dissatisfaction with the parking ban, Toomey had one question to ask the council at Monday night's regular meeting.

"Are you telling me, as mayor, that you want me to enforce the existing ordinance?" Toomey asked shortly before a unanimous vote was made to deny the plan proposed by the mayor's parking committee.

Councilman Dan Allen was quick to respond to Toomey's question.

"Enforce the existing ordinance, that's what you've got it for," said Allen, one of the most vocal opponents of the parking plan.

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If the existing ordinance will be enforced, Mitchell residents and visitors may want to be careful where they park.

The current parking ordinance - which can be found on the city of Mitchell's website - covers five areas, including method of parking, no-parking areas, general parking restrictions, truck parking and handicap parking spaces.

While owners of boats, trailers and campers will not have to worry about their vehicles and implements being ticketed and towed if parked on Mitchell streets, there are some rules included in section 7-4 of Mitchell City Code to consider.

Mitchell drivers cannot park or stop in nine different places, including parking within an intersection, on a crosswalk, outside the first line of cars parked next to curb lines, within 25 feet of the intersection of curb lines, within 15 feet of the driveway entrance to a fire station, within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, in front of a private driveway, on a sidewalk or boulevard, alongside any street excavation when stopping would obstruct traffic or in any area designated as a "no parking" zone.

The city also restricts parking in eight other areas, including private property, at a bus or taxi stand, when blocking a street or alley, when backed onto a curb, when parking a vehicle for sale, when stopped without first setting the brakes or in municipal parking lots.

What will likely concern most Mitchell drivers is the ban on parking alongside a street for more than 48 consecutive hours.

In April, some residents began complaining about the city's renewed enforcement of the 48-consecutive-hour parking restriction. One local business owner who had parked his trailers streetside for four years began seeing his trailers getting tagged shortly after Toomey began publicly promoting the plan to ban streetside parking of larger implements and vehicles.

Two months later, the council supported local owners of campers and trailers rather than the mayor and his parking committee.

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But as Toomey indicated at Monday's meeting, the existing ordinances will continue to be enforced.

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