The calendar says the first day of winter will arrive on Dec. 21. But people who have resided in this area for any length of time know that Old Man Winter can strike at any time after Thanksgiving. 

Our two local police departments are among the first to remind us that winter needs our attention. Both issue reminders when the overnight parking ban goes into effect on Dec. 1 and the ban remains in effect until April 1. Although the time period is the same in both cities there is a slight difference in regulations that residents need to be aware of. 

Let’s take Menominee first. The police department requires permits for all vehicles parked overnight in municipal parking lots at 2nd Street and 5th Avenue; 2nd Street and 6th Avenue; 2nd Street and 9th Avenue; 1st Street and 6th Avenue and at 405 6th Ave. 

Permits will be issued upon application to the police department and shall be restricted to one-third of the total number of parking spaces available to each lot as determined by the city code enforcement officer. Applications require the registered owner of the vehicle, type of vehicle, registration and address and phone number of the owner. Police have the authority to deny a request for an application for specific reasons. Any vehicle owner who is denied a request may appeal his/her case to the city manager by corresponding to the city clerk requesting a meeting with the city manager. 

Parking permits at municipal lots are required during snow plow periods through April 1 from 2:30 to 6 a.m.

Marinette police remind residents and visitors that the city ordinance does not state that it must snow before the ordinance is enforced. It states there will be no overnight parking on city streets in Marinette or on city-owned property, including parking lots, from 1 to 7 a.m. through April 1. The ordinance is designed so that in the event of snow overnight vehicles will already have been removed. 

Marinette police also remind owners of vehicles that parking on tree lawns is not acceptable unless a permit is obtained from the city council’s civic affairs, cemetery, traffic and lights committee. The property owner will need to demonstrate that not allowing the property owner to utilize the tree lawn or public right-of-way would constitute a hardship and allowing the parking does not constitute a traffic hazard. 

Furthermore, residents and visitors are reminded that there are penalties if violations occur. The fines will increase if they are not paid within a certain amount of time.

Long-time residents know the snow ban rules. They can help new residents become familiar with the overnight parking bans by word-of-mouth and other lines of communication.

Snowplowing is not an easy task for city crews. They not only have to battle snow and ice but owners of vehicles who fail to cooperate. it only takes one person to screw up a parking lot, a tree lawn or street.

The municipal ordinances in both cities regarding overnight parking are as common as the arrival of winter itself. Like it or not, it’s the time of the year when overnight parking bans and snow plowing operations become synonymous.