FAQs

/FAQs
image_print

FAQs

Call the fire department at 433-3405 or fire dispatch at 437-9400 and we will assist you.

Yes.  Contact the fire department at 433-3405 to obtain a burn permit for the burning of brush or clean wood ONLY.  Trash cannot be burned with or without a burn permit.

A recreational fire does not need a permit but you must follow the ordinance and code listed under Camp Fires.

No.  Leaves cannot be burned with or without a permit.  Leaves must be taken to the recycling center for disposal.

Yes.  If you own your home and reside within the Fire Department response area, we will install one free smoke alarm.

Contact us via email or call 507-433-3405 to schedule a date and time.

Fire Safety Presentation Request Form

City Hall is located at 500 4th  Avenue NE. , Austin, Mn 55912

1)  Does the City spray for mosquitos?  If so, when?

Yes the City sprays for mosquitos typically twice per year, once prior to the 4th of July and once prior to the Mower Co. Fair.

2)  How does the mosquito spraying work?

The City hires a contractor to complete a ground application with pickup trucks.  The truck travels the city spraying a fog or fine mist that with the proper wind conditions will migrate or drift into backyards, parks and areas along waterways.

3)  Will the mosquito spray affect me or my pets?

The chemical used is Evoluer 4-4 and is designed for effective control of the adult mosquito.  This chemical will not affect humans, animals or plants, however the spray mist or fog does have a pungent odor and it is recommended to stay indoors and close your windows as necessary.

Charter Communications can be contacted at 1-800-581-0081.

The City holds the franchise agreement for Charter Communications but cannot help you with your bill.

Mower County Treasurer handles these functions. They can be reached at 507-437-9456.

Clerk’s office can complete the search for $20.00 by completing this form.

Please see our licensing page  or call 507-437-9940 for more information.

The City of Austin licenses many different types of businesses. Please see our licensing page.

A building permit gives you legal permission to start construction of a building project in accordance with approved drawing and specifications.

Your home or business is an investment. If your construction project does not comply with the codes adopted by your community, the value of your investment could be reduced. Property insurers may not cover work done without permits and inspections. If you decide to sell a home or building that has had modifications without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition, leave it unoccupied or do costly repairs. A property owner who can show that code requirements were strictly and consistently met–as demonstrated by a code official’s carefully maintained records–has a strong ally if something happens to trigger a potentially destructive lawsuit. Your permit also allows the code official to protect the public by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction and ensuring public health, safety and welfare. By following code guidelines, your completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, your friends or future owners.

The Simple Permit Process

Talk to Your Local Code Official Your code official wants your project to be a success and will help you avoid potential problems that could cost you time and money. You will be asked some basic questions (What are you planning to do? Where?), advised of any requirements and, if necessary, referred to other departments for their approval. The code official will provide you with the resources and information needed for compliance with the applicable building codes. You will then receive an application for a building permit.

Submit Application

At this stage you will document the “Who, What, When, Where and How” of the job, along with any sketches or plans of the proposed work. Review Process In a brief amount of time, the code official will review your plans and determine if your project is in compliance with local requirements. If your plans meet these requirements, a permit is issued. If not, the code official may suggest solutions to help correct the problem.

Review Process

In a brief amount of time, the code official will review your plans and determine if your project is in compliance with local requirements. If your plans meet these requirements, a permit is issued. If not, the code official may suggest solutions to help correct the problem.

Receive Permit

Now that you have been approved for a permit, you have legal permission to start construction. A fee, based on the size of the job, is collected to cover the cost of the application, the review and the inspection process. An experienced code official is available to you should you have any questions concerning your project. You should consider your code official as an ally who will help you make your project a success. Normally, separate permits are required for electrical, plumbing, and heating or air-conditioning work.

Job-site Visits

On-site inspections will be required to make certain the work conforms to the permit, local codes and plans. Again, you will have access to the expertise of the code official to help you with questions or concerns regarding the project and to ward off potentially costly mistakes. The code official will let you know approximately how many inspections may be needed for your project. Usually, a one- or two-day notice is needed when requesting visits.

Final Approval

The code official will provide documentation when construction is complete and code compliance is determined. You will then have the personal satisfaction of a job done right. Enjoy your new surroundings with the peace of mind and the knowledge that they meet the safety standards in your community.

Police reports may be picked up at the Law Enforcement Center during normal business hours Mon. – Fri. 8 am to 5 pm. Car crash reports are free to those involved only. All other reports three pages or less are free, with a processing fee of $1.00 for four pages plus $.25 for each additional page.

It is unlawful for minors under the age of 16 to be on public roadways, property, or places of amusement/entertainment between the hours of 10:00 pm and 5:00 am, the following day, unless accompanied by a parent/guardian. And it is unlawful for minors between the ages of 16 years and 18 years to be on public roadways, property, or places of amusement/entertainment between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 am, unless accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Pool Hours

Adult lap swim Monday- Saturday 12-1 pm

Monday thru Friday 1-4:30 pm

Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 7:00-8:30 pm
Saturday 1-6:00 pm
Sunday 2-7:00 pm

 

  • If there is lightning in the area, the pool will be closed.  Pool staff will wait 20 minutes after the last bolt of lightning to reopen.
  • After the first hour and 45 minutes, if there are less than 25 patrons, the pool will close
  • The pool will not open, if the air temperature is less than 67 degrees or less.
  • If we are experiencing inclement weather, the pool will not open.

It is unlawful of the owner of any animal (dog or cat) to allow their animal to run at large. Such animals should be restrained and controlled by a competent person. Fines could be awarded in the area of $100.00 for such an offense. An offender may also have to pay for impoundment fees if the animal is placed at the pound.

Call our office to check on availability at 433-1881 or stop in 121 4th Avenue NE.

Facility Rental

Parks are closed from 10:30 pm to 7:00 am.  There is no camping, no driving, no parking on the grass, no glass, and no hitting golf balls allowed in the parks.  The speed limit is 15 miles per hour.  For your safety and the safety of others, please follow these rules.  Violations of this ordinance can carry up to a $700 fine.

To report a property that is in violation please call our office at 433-1881.  The process will take approximately 2 weeks.

ORDINANCE NO.

AN ORDINANCE FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN, MINNESOTA, AMENDING

CITY CODE SECTION 10.13-GRASS AND WEEDS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY

The City Council of the City of Austin does ordain:

Section 1.       Austin City Code Chapter 10, Section 10.13, is hereby repeated in its entirety.

Section 2.        A new Section 10.13 is hereby enacted in lieu of said repealed Section 10.13 and

should read as follows:

10.13 GRASS AND WEEDS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Subd. 1.  It is unlawful for any owner, occupant or agent of any lot or parcel of land in the city to allow any noxious weeds as defined in Minnesota Statutes Sections 18.77 and 21.72 or grass growing upon any such lot or parcel of land to grow to a greater height than 8 inches.  The following areas and types of vegetation are exempted from this provision if managed in a manner so as not to become infested with weeds or to create a stagnant, foul-smelling condition;

a.    non-noxious weeds and grass vegetation in wetland areas;

b. non-noxious weeds, grasses and herbaceous vegetation within 50’ of designated storm water ponds or within 50’ of natural or altered creeks, rivers and stream corridors, including riparian buffer strips, that convey water, provided they are cut to less than 10 inches at least once per year if located within 200’ of an occupied residence or developed property;

c. non-noxious weed and grass vegetation growing on land that has been agriculturally zoned land or has a history of being ag land, including pastures, that are fenced and contain animals, provided that a  buffer zone of 10 feet between the ag land and any turf grass area will be required;

d. temporary erosion control grasses;

e. maintained and weeded prairie, meadow or natural landscape vegetation that does not contain noxious weed growth and that includes the cultivation of native grasses indigenous to Minnesota provided that the property owner applies for and is issued a natural landscape permit, and maintains the property in a condition sufficient to maintain the permit.   Natural landscape permits are required if a proposed landscape includes native grasses that exceed or are expected to exceed 8 inches in overall height. Natural landscape permit applications shall be submitted to the Park Department.  No natural landscape permits will be issued unless the following requirements are fulfilled by the owner;

  1.   They are set back not less than twenty feet from the front lot line. For the purposes of this ordinance, corner lots shall be deemed to have two front yards;
  2.  They are set back not less than five feet from the side and/or rear lot lines to provide a transition zone. No set back is required on the side or rear lot lines if (1) there is a fully opaque fence at least five feet in height installed between the native plants and the side or rear lot lines or (2) the native plants abut a neighboring Native Plant Landscape Area;
  3.  The Native Plant Landscape Area is cut at least once annually between April 15 and July 15 to a height no greater than ten (10) inches;
  4.   Turf grass is eliminated and the native plants, trees and shrubs are planted through transplanting or seed by human or mechanical means. Soil erosion should be controlled while the ground is bare of plant growth that is sufficient to inhibit erosion and is the sole responsibility of the owner or occupant;

Written authorization from the City Administrator or his/her designee is obtained for work within conservation or scenic easement areas, including planting, mowing or cutting.

A violation of any of the requirements set forth above will result in the revocation of the natural landscape permit by the City.

f. grass and non-noxious weed vegetation in publicly owned parks designated as natural preserves or private property so designated by the City Council or natural undisturbed areas where the land and vegetation appears not to have been graded, landscaped or otherwise disturbed by human or mechanical means in recent time;

g. grass and non-noxious weed vegetation on natural or altered slopes steeper than 2:1; or

h. ornamental grasses;

i.  Natural Wooded lots.

j. No such person shall cause, permit, or allow poison ivy, ragweed, or other poisonous plants or plants detrimental to health, to grow on any such lot or any such land in such manner that any part of said weeds or plants shall extend upon, overhang or border any public place, or in such manner that said noxious weeds or plants are allowed to seed or to emit pollen or other poisonous particles into the atmosphere in a manner such that said particles are carried through the air into any public places.

Subd. 2.  If any such owner, occupant or agent fails to comply with this height limitation and after notice given by the designated weed inspector, has not within seven days of such notice complied, the city shall cause such weeds or grass to be cut and the expenses thus incurred shall be a lien upon such real estate.  The City Clerk shall certify to the County Auditor of Mower County, a statement of the amount of the cost incurred by the city.  Such amount together with interest shall be entered as a special assessment against such lot or parcel of land and be collected in the same manner as real estate taxes.

Subd. 3.  All individual notices provided for herein shall be served in the same manner as a Summons in a Civil action in the District Court or by certified mail.  Service on persons living temporarily or permanently outside of the city whose property is vacant or unoccupied may be made by sending the notice by certified mail to the last known address of such person, to be ascertained, if necessary, from the last tax list in the County Treasurer’s Office.

Section 3. Austin City Code Chapter 1 entitled “Rules of Construction; General Penalty” applicable to the entire City Code are hereby adopted in their entity by reference as if repeated verbatim herein.

Pick your plot out at our office.  The garden plots are located by Woodson Kindergarten Center and are 15’ X 20’ in size.  Water is available through a timed sprinkler.  Growing Inspires EatingGardening not only provides you with fresh fruits and vegetables, it also encourages you to eat them. Once you are blessed with a bushel basket of tomatoes, you will have newfound interest in finding recipes for tomatoes. What’s more, picking fresh produce from your garden is a great way to get children to eat fruits and vegetables. It is fun for them to pick their own lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers – and then eat them. Cost: $20 per plot.

No open burning/fires are allowed in any park other than in grills for cooking.  To use the fire ring at Sutton Park you must obtain a permit at the Park and Recreation office.

Pet Ordinance:  “Except as hereinafter provided, no pet animals, including horses, are permitted in public parks.  Except for horses pet animals are permitted on all public trails and park roadways with the exception of the three fenced ball complexes: Todd Park North and South & RCC.  While using the public trails and park roadways, pet animals shall be adequately restrained by a durable leash, cord, chain or other similar restraint and the pet animals shall be under the direct control of their owner, except that pet animals under the supervision of their owner may be unrestrained in the area designated as the dog park.”  The Dog Park area is located East of South Main Street between 1st and 2nd Street SE along the north side of the river.    Owners must pick up after their pets.

The City of Austin has adopted a policy prohibiting the use of tobacco in all city facilities and at any playground/park location.  Please be considerate to others and abide by this policy.

The best way to find out if you need a permit is to call your local building department. Discuss your plans with the code official before you begin construction to determine whether you need a permit. If a permit is not needed, the code official will answer your construction questions and may provide valuable advice.

Permits are usually required for the following:

  • New buildings Additions (bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms, etc.)
  • Residential work (decks, garages, fences, fireplaces, pools, water heaters, etc.)
  • Renovations (garage conversions, basement furnishings, kitchen expansions, re-roofing, etc.)
  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing systems
  • HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) systems

Please visit our webpage on the Homeownership Program or call Ann Kasel at 507-437-9943.

Download the Application Below

Application for Boards and Commissions

What are the requirements for retaining my animal from the shelter? The Community Service Officers are the primary caretakers of the shelter and animals. One may call the law enforcement center to speak with a CSO to gather more information or link to the CSO section for pictures and information.

A person may call to report a disturbing noise at any hour throughout the day. Examples of violations would be loud music coming from residences/vehicles/businesses, etc. Fines/Fees may range to be approximately $100.00 for each violation.

A vehicle may be legally parked for 12 hours on a city roadway without moving it before action is taken. If a vehicle is observed violating such an ordinance, an Officer may mark the vehicle to establish if the vehicle has been moved after a complaint, issue a citation, and/or have the vehicle towed.

Yes. It is unlawful to operate any vehicle greater than 15 mph within a city park. Nor should a vehicle be driven off the roadway or parking area within the park.

All persons should abide by laws and regulations set forth by the Department of Natural Resources, in addition to some city ordinances. No motorboat except those operated by an electric motor should be operated upon any body of water within the city before 9:00 am and after sunset on weekdays, or before 12:00 noon and after sunset on Saturdays and Sundays. All motorboats should travel counter-clockwise on East Side Lake at all times.