Winter Travel Tips

By Carver County Sheriff Deputy Charles Possert

Winter is coming and it’s time to start thinking about winter travel safety. Although this winter may be a little different in the midst of a pandemic, travel and vehicle safety still apply. Here are a few ideas and tips to make your winter travel as safe as possible.

Prepare Your Car

Take a few minutes and put together a winter emergency kit for each vehicle in your household. These kits are useful year round and a great gift idea. The kits should contain:

  • cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
  • blankets – wool blankets are ideal
  • a spare hat and gloves
  • food and water (nonperishable items such as canned nuts or fruit)
  • booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction)
  • small shovel
  • tow cables
  • compass and maps
  • flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries
  • first-aid kit
  • plastic bags (for sanitation)
  • tool kit – crescent wrench, pliers, multi-tool, screwdrivers, duct tape, etc.
  • brightly colored cloth – for signaling 
  • flashlight and spare batteries

While a winter emergency kit is useful, it’s far better to avoid finding yourself in a position where you need to use it. Spend a few minutes going over your vehicle to ensure it is in top mechanical shape going into winter. Winter wreaks havoc on mechanical systems especially batteries and heating and cooling systems. Make sure to check:

  • Battery – check for corrosion, ensure terminals are tight, have a qualified mechanic load test your battery if you have any doubt. Most auto parts stores have testing equipment on hand and will do a battery check-up free of charge.
  • Cooling System – ensure the radiator and overflow bottle are full of the appropriate coolant. For only a few dollars you can buy a device called a hydrometer which tells you at what temperature your coolant stops protecting your engine. Ideally your coolant should protect down to -34F. 
  • Belts/Hoses – check all hoses and belts for signs of cracking and wear.
  • Tires – check tire pressure and ensure you have sufficient tread depth. Consider replacing your tires if you have less than 5/32’ of tread depth remaining. Winter specific tread patterns are available and very effective. 
  • Washer Fluid – fill your washer fluid bottle with a winter appropriate fluid. A clean and defrosted windshield can help prevent trouble on the road.

Prepare Yourself

Check the weather before you travel. Share your travel plans and the route you intend to take with someone who can check up on you if you are overdue at your destination. Bring along a sufficient supply of any medications you or your travel companions may require. Stay home if there is any doubt.

Before you depart, ensure the vehicle is full of fuel and avoid going below a half tank. By maintaining a half tank of fuel, you have reserve fuel which can be used to operate the engine and stay warm until help arrives. 

Changing our driving behavior is also an important aspect of winter safety.

  • In poor road conditions, increase your following distance to give more time to react. Try to stay 8-10 seconds behind the vehicle ahead. 
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly and by smooth application of the brake or accelerator.
  • Avoid stopping on hills
  • Slow down! 
  • Always use your seat belt
  • Do not use cruise control on slippery roads
  • Don’t closely follow snow plows and pass them with care

React in an Emergency

If you find yourself in a winter emergency, consider the following safety tips:

  • Stay in your vehicle – this is especially important if you have gone off the roadway. Chances are if the roadway is so bad you lost control, someone else will also. If another motorist loses control, you are far safer seat belted into the protective steel body of your vehicle. Don’t try to walk to help in a storm. It is easy to lose sight of your vehicle and become disoriented. Emergency personnel will find you more quickly if you stay with your vehicle. 
  • Run your vehicles engine and heat for 10 minutes out of every hour. If your vehicle is surrounded in snow, ensure the tail pipe is free of obstruction to avoid carbon monoxide buildup inside the vehicle. When the car is running, turn on the interior lights. Avoid using vehicle systems that use electricity when the vehicle is not running to prevent a dead battery. When the heat is running, crack a window for air exchange. 
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to your vehicle antennae, utility rack, upturned windshield wiper, or any other available high point.
  • Insulate yourself with blankets and any additional clothing items in the vehicle. Huddle with other people for warmth.
  • Stay awake and moving. Move your arms and legs to keep blood flowing. Activity will help keep you warm.  

The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is apropos when speaking about winter travel safety. Consider discussing these safety tips with friends and family. Encourage your loved ones to take steps in advance to ensure a safe and trouble free winter season. 

Peddler, Hawker, Solicitor, and Transient Merchant Permits


  • Sec. 10-236. – Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Hawker and peddler mean any person selling any goods or products from a vehicle or pack, going about from place to place, carrying the goods or products for the purpose of sale and delivery if the goods or products are edible, shall be a hawker; if the goods are nonedible, such person shall be a peddler; provided, however, that hawkers and peddlers requested and invited by the recipient of services are excluded from this definition.

Solicitor means any person selling services or goods by sample or taking orders for future delivery and accepting a deposit or advance payment, except persons taking orders to be filled by goods delivered to the purchaser from other states in the original package. As used in this article, the term “solicitor” does not include persons who solicit for bona fide nonprofit civic, patriotic, charitable or religious organizations strictly for charitable or related purposes.

Transient merchant means any person selling any merchandise, either as principal or agent, from a building or lot which he occupies as a tenant at will or under a lease for a shorter term than six months, or from a railroad car, a truck, or a vehicle.



The Street Sweeper Will Be Coming To Your Neighborhood – Between October 15-26, 2020

Street sweeping operations will take place between October 15 and October 26, 2020, weather dependent. Please have all vehicles off the streets when the sweeper is in your neighborhood.  The sweeper has a difficult time cleaning all the debris from the street when maneuvering around parked vehicles.

As a reminder, it is illegal to blow or rake leaves or grass clippings into the street or to place trash, branches and other debris in the street. With your cooperation we can keep our water pollutant free!

Did you know you can vote in person now?

Location for In-Person Absentee Voting:
Carver County Government Center
600 East 4th St.
Chaska, MN 55318

Voting Dates and Times:
September 18 – November 1
(Monday – Friday – 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM)

Saturday, October 31
(Saturday – 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM)

November 2
(Monday – 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)

For any questions on the process, call 952-361-1941.

Weather Delays for the Paving Project in the Carver Bluffs Neighborhood

Due to the inclement weather, paving operations in the Carver Bluffs neighborhood have been suspended for the day.  The contractor will resume final paving operations tomorrow, September 29, which includes work on Ramsey Avenue, Carver Creek Place, and Carver Bluffs Parkway.  Carver Bluffs Parkway from Carver Creek Circle to County Road 40 will be closed during this work.  Please use the development entrance connected to Jonathan Carver Parkway tomorrow.  Paving is anticipated to be completed in its entirety by the end of the day tomorrow, September 29.

Message from Mayor Johnson: 2021 Property Taxes Set to Drop


I am acutely aware of the challenges experienced by many in our community due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and am working hard to make sure the City of Carver’s budget is lean, while best serving our community’s needs. I am proud of the work done by both City staff and City Council on the 2021 budget to come up with a plan that addresses the needs of our City, while keeping in mind the struggles many of us have faced in 2020.

Last month I mentioned we were well into the process of determining the details of our 2021 budget. Now that we’ve set out preliminary levy (this is ceiling, or the not to exceed amount) I’d like to share some additional details.

At the Sept. 21 City Council meeting we set the preliminary levy at $3,220,448 which is a 6% increase over the 2020 levy. Because of Carver’s growth (an increase in our tax capacity by 15.5%) our tax rate will decrease from 49.45% to an estimated 45.22%… and that means the City of Carver’s portion of your property taxes will likely go down for most property owners!

Although City property taxes are anticipated to decrease for most property owners, several significant investments are included in the preliminary 2021 Budget.  Some of these investments include a proposed 66% increase to street maintenance funding, which will be used to conduct future mill and overlay projects throughout the community. In addition, the preliminary 2021 Budget allocates $25,000 toward the replacement of the Fire Department’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units. The Department SCBA’s need to be replaced in 2026, which is estimated to cost $180,000. The allocation of $25,000 in 2021 will allow this significant cost to be spread out over multiple years, as opposed to facing a large budget expenditure in 2026.

If you’re interested in participating in the budget process, the next steps are:

  • October/November – Residents will receive their preliminary property tax statements in the mail. This document will include information on your home’s valuation increase and your proposed tax bill, based off of the preliminary levy.
  • December 7 – The Truth in Taxation public hearing will take place during the City Council meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Residents are invited to comment on the proposed budget and their property taxes.
  • December 21 – City Council will consider adoption of the 2021 budget and property tax levy during the City Council meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

If you’d like to check out the preliminary draft 2021 budget, you can find it at in the packet from our Sept. 21 City Council Meeting.

If you have thoughts or comments on the 2021 budget, or anything else, I’d love to hear from you!

Mayor Courtney Johnson

Cell: 612-702-7703

Facebook: CarverMayorCourtney

Paving Notice – Monday, September 28, 2020

Weather permitting, Carver Creek Circle, Carver Bluffs Parkway, and Ramsey Avenue final street paving is anticipated to take place on Monday, September 28.

The final lift of asphalt is planned to be paved for the locations highlighted in red on the Construction Notice.  Access to Carver Creek Place to the north and south of Ramsey is planned to be maintained through the paving process, however, expect minor delays as work is taking place.

There will be no on-street parking allowed on all segments highlighted in red on Monday.  Residents can drive vehicles on the pavement after the contractor has finished rolling it (about 15 to 30 minutes after being paved).

Carver Bluffs Parkway from Carver Creek Circle to County Road 40 will be CLOSED during this work.  Please use the development entrance connected to Jonathan Carver Parkway.

For more details, map, and contact for questions, please see the Construction Notice.