Minnesota trucker takes on City Hall

| 2/5/2008

Trucker Jamie Marx knows he will be the underdog when he takes on the Hutchinson, MN, City Council. Nonetheless, he told Land Line on Monday, Feb. 4, that he feels like he has no other choice.

That’s because of the Hutchinson City Council’s recent decision to start enforcing an existing truck parking ordinance, which “bans tractors from parking in residential areas.” Until recently, enforcement had mainly been on a complaint-only, don’t ask, don’t tell, basis.

Marx, who is usually home only three or four days a month, is making a point to be home in time for the City Council’s next meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Although the truck parking ordinance isn’t scheduled to be discussed at that meeting, a public comment time is allotted at the beginning of each meeting for those wanting to discuss city business.

Marx said truckers make a mighty contribution to the community’s economy, both through delivering goods, taxes and more.

“I want them to know I have spent more than $70,000 locally on repairs and fuel,” Marx said.

Marx thinks the city should take this into consideration and rethink enforcement of this “unfair” ordinance.

The Hutchinson ordinance states that commercial vehicles are not allowed to stop in a residential area unless they are making a delivery. Another provision in the city’s truck parking ordinance bans trucks weighing 9,000 pounds gross weight or more from parking in some areas, while another provision bans trucks weighing 10,000 pounds gross weight or more.

The truck parking ban is particularly problematic for truckers in Hutchinson, who face cold-weather problems six months out of 12. The 7 West Truck Stop closed down two years ago, and the local co-op, which allows truck parking, doesn’t have electricity for truckers to plug in when the weather gets cold.

Marx said he plans to bring up another issue the city ordinance fails to address, related to RVs being allowed to park in residential areas, even though many RVs weigh as much as a truck tractor.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer