With spring in full swing, the Le Sueur Police Department would like to take this opportunity to address some common safety and nuisance issues that are presented seasonally.

Speeding vehicles is a common complaint we hear from many residents throughout residential and commercial neighborhoods in town. With detours in place for the current season of road construction, high traffic areas have been created on certain streets that otherwise do not see as much traffic.

The areas of higher traffic levels include Bridge Street, Ferry Street, South Main Street, Fourth Street, Second Street and Kingsway Drive. As a result of these higher traffic levels, the Le Sueur Police Department will be focusing on traffic enforcement and speed enforcement in these areas, among others, to keep our traffic flowing safely and efficiently. We also utilize our speed trailers to educate drivers about their actual speeds and driving habits.

While a speeding violation is a petty misdemeanor, fines increase with each violation on your driving record. Three moving violations in a time period of one year or less will result in a suspended driver’s license. We request drivers review MN statue 169.14, which covers speeding, and MN statute 169.18, which covers many driving rules, such as passing, keeping to the right, passing on the right, one way traffic, following too close, and passing parked emergency vehicles along the roadway.

There are currently several road closures due to the ongoing construction in Le Sueur. These road closures result in longer commute times and inconveniences for all of us that utilize these roadways. We must respect these road closures to ensure a safe environment for those working on the construction project as well as project integrity. MN Statute 160.2715 (a)(14) states that driving around road closure barricades is a misdemeanor. Le Sueur police officers will be actively patrolling the construction areas to ensure people are obeying the road closures.

With the nicer weather arriving, the Le Sueur Police Department tends to see a rise in property nuisance ordinance violations. These violations include miscellaneous refuse being placed on the boulevard in hopes of disposal or removal, junk accumulating on residential properties, trailers, campers, derelict vehicles, and other property parked on front lawns on the grass on unimproved surfaces.

All ordinances pertaining to the city of Le Sueur are posted at cityoflesueur.com under the Government tab. The ordinance specific to nuisance parking and storage is 97.06 and for derelict vehicles it is 97.07. We encourage homeowners and tenants to review these ordinances to ensure they are complying.

The Le Sueur Police Department actively addresses these violations by notifying property owners and tenants they are in violation. We allow a seven-day period for the property to be brought into compliance. Our goal is to bring properties into compliance with this step. If property owners do not bring their properties into compliance, the case is referred to the City Council for review and potential abatement. This process becomes very time consuming and any associated costs for abatement will be assessed to the property owner’s property taxes.

The Le Sueur Police Department would like to highlight the upcoming citywide cleanup day on May 8 from 7 a.m. to noon. This will be held at the Community Center parking lot. We encourage citizens to take advantage of this event to bring their properties into compliance with the nuisance ordinances. Most residential refuse can be brought to and disposed of for free at this event.

As spring turns into summer, grass and weeds will soon begin to grow rapidly. City of Le Sueur ordinances 96.03 and 96.04 cover the rules for long grass and noxious weeds. This ordinance states grass, and weeds must be mowed shorter than 8 inches and any property with weeds or grass more than 8 inches tall is in violation of ordinance 96.03.

The Le Sueur Police Department enforces this ordinance by placing a door hanger on the front door of the properties found in violation. The property owner has 24 hours to bring their property into compliance or a contracted mowing service will mow the grass and weeds to an appropriate height. The financial charge for the mowing service will be invoiced to the property owner and unpaid invoices will be assessed against the homeowner’s property taxes.

Another common ordinance violation is the disposal of grass clippings, yard waste, and leaves by blowing them onto the street, sidewalk, curb, or gutter. City of Le Sueur ordinance 96.02 prohibits the disposal of these items on any of those surfaces. When grass and yard waste are blown onto the street, sidewalk, or gutter, it creates a hazardous surface for motor vehicles to operate on, especially motorcycles. The yard waste ultimately ends up in the gutters and sewers and this contaminates the draining water with chemicals and can clog the gutter and sewer system. Residents found violating ordinance 96.02 may be subject to a citation and/or fine for repeated violations.

The city of Le Sueur, business owners, construction companies, and many property owners have completed many projects, and are in the process of working on several larger projects that will continue to beautify Le Sueur. We encourage all citizens to recognize all the hard work and dedication these people have completed to keep Le Sueur an aesthetically pleasing town to visit and live in. We ask that all residents comply with the nuisance ordinances and do your part as a property owner or tenant to show your pride in the Le Sueur community. We can all lend a hand to keep Le Sueur the gem of the Minnesota River Valley.

Captain Aaron Thieke, Le Sueur Police Department.

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