Dec 01

Preparing Your Home for Winter: Tips from the Dept. of Building Safety

Posted on December 1, 2022 at 3:34 PM by Haley Foster

Preparing Your Home for Winter

Now that we’ve had a glimpse into winter, it’s a great time to make sure your home is prepared for the season! These five simple tips from the Department of Building Safety can save you money and time once the snow really begins to fly.  

  1. Clean gutters and downspouts. While you’re hanging up your holiday lights, take the time to check your gutters, roof, and fascia for damage! Leaves and other debris can clog gutters. The debris can become wet and may hold moisture that can freeze when the temperature drops. This freeze-thaw cycle can damage the gutters, fascia, and roof. The debris may also result in overflows during thawing periods. The best time to clean the gutters is after the majority of the leaves have dropped from trees. Make sure the downspouts and any extensions are directed away from foundation since saturated soil increases the risk of damaging frost heave and/or leaks in the basement.  
  2. Prepare exterior plumbing. Don’t forget to turn off the outdoor faucets using the interior shut-off valve and drain the water from the pipe to the exterior. Also, disconnect and drain garden hoses and sump pump discharge hoses. Hoses connected to the exterior of the home can freeze, and that freeze can follow the hose back into the wall and burst the pipe inside. Prevent this from happening by installing foam insulated faucet covers.  
  3. Heating checkup. Have your furnace and fireplaces professionally serviced to ensure they are working at peak efficiency. Also, change the furnace filter. Make sure exterior openings are clean and clear. High efficiency furnaces use PVC vents and intakes that exit the exterior wall near ground level. Check for obstructions like grass clippings or vegetation that may have grown over, and make sure critters have not built nests in the unused vent. Also, check metal furnace vents that protrude through the roof. Chimneys and vents should have a UL listed metal rain cap that are in good repair and clear of debris. If the caps are missing or have damaged screening, check for nests and other debris. Inspect a wood burning fireplace to ensure there is a spark screen present and in good repair. Also, make sure the flue operates properly and the chimney is clean and clear—sweep if necessary.  
  4. Preparing your home for winterCheck weather stripping. Visually inspect around doors and windows for worn or damaged weather stripping and seals. Ensure the door fits tightly and there are no gaps. Also, check that all windows operate and lock properly. If you have an older home with storm windows, remove the screens and install the storm windows. If the windows don’t seal well, try using a plastic window insulation kit. 
  5. Fix cracks in concrete. Repair/patch any visible cracks on the driveway, your sidewalk, or foundation. Cracks can allow water to leak in and then freeze during the winter, causing further damage. There are numerous products available for sealing concrete, including squeeze bottles, and caulking guns for small jobs and bulk buckets for large ones.  

Don’t forget to wrap up your outdoor building permits (like roofing or residing permits) by scheduling final inspections. Call the Monticello Building Safety Department staff at 763-295-3060 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please have the permit number or address handy.  

  •  Window replacement  
  •  Decks  

 

Sep 09

Back to School Reminders from WCSO

Posted on September 9, 2022 at 2:05 PM by Haley Foster

A Message from the Wright County Sheriff's Office

With change of seasons comes other changes, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all citizens that safe driving is a primary concern. Wright County has numerous construction zones, kids back in school, sun position changes, weather changes, and more people going back to work.

Sheriff Sean Deringer asks all drivers to:

  1. Always keep 100 percent of your attention on the road – try to avoid multi-tasking.
  2. Don’t use your phone or electronic devices while driving.
  3. Wear your seat belt.
  4. Slow down.

The Safest Mode of Transportation for Children

In Minnesota, school buses make at least 10,000 school bus trips daily. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for children — children are eight times safer riding in a bus to school than any other vehicles.

  •  In Minnesota in 2019, there was one fatality involving a school bus.
  • There were 3,220 traffic crashes involving school buses from 2015-2019. Only 272 school age children who were riding in a school bus were hurt during that time frame. 

Stop for School Buses: It's the Law!

  • State law requires all vehicles to stop for school buses when the bus driver activates the flashing lights and has the crossing arm fully extended.
  • Drivers who violate the law face a $500 fine.
  • Drivers can face criminal charges for passing a school bus on the right, passing when a child is outside the bus, or injuring or killing a child. 

Motorists

Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights or a stop arm when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads. Motorists should slow down, pay attention, and anticipate school children and buses, especially in neighborhoods and school zones. The best way to be aware of your surroundings at all times is to put the distractions away.

Students 

When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder. Wait for the bus driver to signal that it’s safe to cross. When crossing the street to get on the bus or to go home, make eye contact with motorists before proceeding.

Jul 27

City Officials Advocate for I-94 in D.C.

Posted on July 27, 2022 at 3:55 PM by Haley Foster

US DOT - DC.July2022Two weeks ago Councilmember Charlotte Gabler and Monticello’s city administrator participated in the I-94 Coalition’s fly-in trip to Washington, D.C. They joined representatives from St. Michael, Albertville, Otsego, and Wright County to advocate for the funding needed to complete the expansion of I-94 between Albertville and Monticello.

This is the final “gap” to fill to complete the I-94 upgrades from the Twin Cities to St. Cloud, which will enhance safety and encourage valuable economic growth in our region. I-94 is a vital corridor, and we want to do whatever we can to support ongoing efforts to strengthen and enhance it!

What is the I-94 Coalition?

The City of Monticello often joins with partners to help complete projects that benefit our community as part of the wider region.

Monticello is a member of the I-94 Corridor Coalition and is participating in the efforts to enhance the interstate between the Twin Cities metro and St. Cloud. The coalition is comprised of dedicated local governments, private businesses, local chambers of commerce, and other stakeholders affected by the transportation challenges facing Minnesota.

They are taking a comprehensive approach to expanding the capacity of the corridor to benefit communities and businesses along the entire corridor. Click here to learn more about the coalition and the project our team was supporting in D.C.

 Click here to learn more about the coalition and the project our team was supporting in D.C.I-94 Discussions.July2022