City of Anamosa voids parking tickets following time confusion

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ANAMOSA, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Dozens of people received parking tickets after they thought a snow emergency was over in Anamosa.

Last week, the city put out an alert saying parking restrictions would be in effect because of a snow emergency in the city. It expired at midnight Saturday, which some people interpreted to be early Saturday morning. But the city meant late Saturday night, and police issued 55 parking tickets.

"We had been parking in our driveway and in our yard off the street since Thursday,” Jennifer Gideon said.

Gideon thought she followed the snow emergency rules, moving her car back onto Ford Street Saturday morning after she thought the snow emergency expired. She says the road was already cleared.

"They had not been plowing for hours. I think was up around 5:30 that morning and I hadn't heard plow trucks for a while," Gideon said.

Just a couple hours later, she was issued a parking ticket. She called the city, but never heard back as to why.

Gideon and others went to the city council meeting Monday night to address the issue. The acting city administrator said the city wanted the snow emergency to remain in effect all day Saturday, not end on early Saturday morning. The administrator said police officers were just following city orders when they issued the tickets. The chief asked council if people need to pay the tickets.

"I think the cars should have been up off the travel portion for snow removal, but I understand the miscommunication, or the confusion with the communication,” Chief Bob Simonson said.

The mayor directed the chief to void those tickets.

On Monday, the acting city administrator said it would be best to not use midnight as a time to end snow emergencies. Instead they'll use times like 11 p.m. or 1 a.m.