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Winter Newsletter 2021

Living in Minnesnowta (ha-ha!) means we all must contribute personal and communal efforts for efficient snow removal and, thus, an easier winter for all in return. Co-op responsibilities include shoveling, parking lot reminders, snow emergencies, and extended travel checklist.

Topics Below

Shoveling

All households must shovel their respective sidewalks of all snow/ice within 48 hours, otherwise will incur a fee per sidewalk not properly cleared. Shoveling the parking lot is not required but encouraged. 

Household Shoveling Requirements

Per CTC Resident Handbook, residents are required to shovel their entrances front and back, steps and sidewalks leading to your home to keep free of snow and remove or treat ice. View full Snow Shovel/Ice Removal Policy here.

When you shovel snow and clear ice:

Inspections + Noncompliance Fees

If the shoveling requirements are not fulfilled, the household will incur a fee for each sidewalk they are responsible for that was not properly cleared. CTC Maintenance will inspect shoveling 48 hours or the next business day after snowfall ends. If CTC Maintenance discovers that a sidewalk is not properly cleared, a warning will be given with the expectation that shoveling will happen within the next 24 hours. Upon a second failure to shovel, a fee will be issued to the household and CTC Maintenance or U of M Landcare will complete the final shovel of the unit.

Provided Snow Shovels

Ward Reps distribute the shovels: one is shared on each side of 1 bedroom buildings; one is shared between two of the 2 and 3 bedroom units. Please do not leave shovels in street or snowbanks, as they will get damaged or lost. While shovels are delegated to specific units and buildings, they are open for the entire community to use. In which case, is advised to keep your own shovel within your house if you have one.

Shovel Snow to Grass

When shoveling sidewalks the parking lot, the snow needs to be put in the grass area and not the street. Shoveling vehicles out is not required but encouraged. Use sand + salt barrels to help remove vehicles from snow and ice, but also avoid grass and sweep up any excess. 


Snow Emergencies

CTC Snow Plow Map
Each zone is assigned a day for clearing during Snow Emergencies, in which vehicles must be removed from the indicated area on the respective day.

Snow emergencies may be declared throughout the winter season if there is a large accumulation of snow. During an emergency, we divide the property up in three zones in which vehicles cannot park to allow for snow removal curb to curb. 

Vehicles will be towed if not properly removed during the snow emergency. Vehicles are required to be always operable in case a snow emergency is suddenly declared as needed. View snow plow removal map.

If traveling for an extended amount of time, give your keys to a trusted friend or neighbor to move your vehicle or use our Seasonal Paid Parking Lot option.

Seasonal Paid Parking Lot

CTC offers paid parking in the north lot, near Ward 1 and Commonwealth Ave. This is a great option for residents traveling for an extended amount of time, as you do not need to worry about moving your vehicle or getting towed during a snow emergency. The Seasonal Lot costs $35 per month for each vehicle (prorated). Register at the office to receive the special parking permit.


Parking Lot Reminders

Keep it Moving!

Residents need to move their cars for plowing to be completed. Move your vehicle frequently to open larger spaces, allowing for small plows of the area. More small plows means you will shovel less and reduces the need to call emergency snow plows, in addition to saving money. 

Spot the Difference

Notice if your neighbor or UMN Landcare plowed the snow from the parking space before parking there. If it is a single spot and/or untidy, this means your neighbor put the effort into shoveling this spot out and likely wants it back or another cleared space when they return home. It is highly encouraged to avoid taking the cleared spaces that your neighbors worked hard for unless you clear another space for them, helping to balance a cycle of harmony and fairness on your street and within the community.

Difference between a neighbor shoveling versus a snow plow
Resist taking neighbors' shoveled parking spaces until you return the favor by clearing out another. 

Park Away from Curb

Park further back from the curb so that your bumper doesn't hang over the edge of the curb, allowing for snow plows to clear the sidewalks. If not, UMN Landcare must hand shovel which takes more time and money to clear the area, plus risks damaging the grass.


Misc. Landcare Requests

Return Picnic Tables 

If you move a picnic table close to the edge of the sidewalk, please move it back to an open area of turf before a snowfall. The reason is that the table takes up space along the sidewalk where we need to plow snow to.

Clear Outdoor Toys

Continually monitor your children's toys. Many of them get left on the sidewalks and it takes time for UMN Landcare to have to move them and if they get covered in snow we plow them up because they aren't visible.

Do Not Remove Flags

UMN Landcare is placing flags around the property to mark sidewalk edges. Please ensure your children don't pull them out of the ground.


Salt + Sand Barrels

Salt/Sand Winter Use
Use Salt + Sand mixture on roads and sidewalks to deteriorate ice and build traction.
1. Shovel First 

Salt + sand is more effective and you'll use a lot less if you remove as much snow and ice as possible before applying

2. Only Use as Much as Necessary 

A full 12 oz coffee mug is more than enough for pavement the size of a parking space. Be patient: salt takes time to work. Applying more only means creating unnecessary waste and pollution to lakes and rivers.

3. Sweep up Extra Salt + Sand

Extra salt or sand on dry pavement isn't working. Sweep it up and reuse it or it'll be washed away.

Find Salt + Sand Barrel Locations



Extended Travel Checklist

An extended amount of time is considered as being away from your unit for five or more days consistently at a time. It is very important to follow the steps in preparation for your departure. 

Notify CTC Office

Let the office know your anticipated dates as soon as possible, so we can turn off your gas for the time being and handle any emergencies that may arise.

Inform Ward Rep 

Inform the representative of your ward to avoid scheduling conflicts with laundry room cleaning.

Secure Plan for Vehicle

Snow can come fast and unexpectedly. Give your car keys to a friend so they can move it for any snow emergency plow days. You can also buy a Seasonal Paid Parking pass for $1 per day, in which your car can park in a designated lot so you don’t have to worry about any snow related surprises.

Make Shoveling Arrangements

All residents have 48 hours after final snowfall to complete their household shoveling requirement. Arrange for someone to shovel for you while you are on vacation to avoid incurring fees.

Hold Mail

Remember to hold mail at the post office or give a friend your mailbox key to check and remove contents at least once a week. If you hold your mail at the post office, you have the option of having the accumulated mail delivered to you when you return or to pick it up at the post office. 

If you do not make any arrangements in your absence, the mail carrier will claim your household to be 'vacant' upon seeing the mail build-up, taking your mail to the post office and deeming your address as undeliverable until you go to the post office to sort out the confusion.

Pay Rent

Remember before you leave if traveling/absent at the beginning of the month, otherwise you can pay online via RentCafe anytime, anywhere!


Apartment/Building Heating


Mailboxes Frozen Shut

Fairly common during Minnesota winters, the extreme drops in temperature can cause mailboxes to freeze in the closed position. If your mailbox is frozen shut, you could try using de-icer to melt the obstructing ice - otherwise, most residents find success by simply coming back on a warmer day.

If you are expecting an important and/or time-sensitive piece of mail during the colder months, consider temporarily holding mail at the post office or purchasing a PO Box to pick-up when you want, as both are inside the building and avoid the possibility of a frozen mailbox or any snow/weather-related deliver delays. Visit our local Como Post Office (~1 mile away) to set-up services online or in-person. 

More Mail at CTC details here.


Fall Preparation

Cancel Air Conditioners

All air conditioners (ACs) must be removed from windows, discontinued from use, and deregistered with the office by October 15, 2021. If not, monthly appliance fees and open window fees will ensue. 

Apartment/Building Heating

Our community-wide heating system starts on October 1, 2021. Refer to our Heating Season Guidelines for important reminders and troubleshooting. Immediately notify the office (651-646-7526) for any heating issues.

Fall Clean-up

Clear Garden Plots