The city of St. Paul is expanding its snow-emergency alerts to include messages in Hmong, Somali and Spanish, in addition to English.
Residents can sign up for the alerts — which announce snow emergencies and explain where and when streets must be cleared of parked cars to make way for snow plows — online at the city web site. Previously, the messages were in English only.
The city says 86,000 subscribers get the alerts.
The complicated parking rules are also explained in eight languages on the city’s web site.
Failing to move a car when required is costly: the ticket is $56 and if the car is towed it costs $209 to retrieve it from the impound lot; the fee increases $15 each day.
Public Works Director Kathy Lantry said the city is working to make services accessible to all residents:
We are always working on ways to improve compliance during snow emergencies. We can reduce ticketing and towing by communicating better — with everyone. Better compliance results in faster plowing and cleaner streets. The multi-lingual Snow Alerts provide us with another tool to communicate with the diverse community that we serve, including non-English speaking residents.