Howard Lake Herald, February 23, 1998

Hwy. 12 hearing draws few comments


Curt Eastlund, project manager for the Hwy. 12 reconstruction project that will pass through the cities of Howard Lake, Waverly, and Cokato, presented the project to the public at a hearing Wednesday.

Eastlund told the crowd of about 50 people that comments could be made verbally, on statement cards, or as a letter to him by March 2.

Some comment cards were submitted, but only two people spoke to the crowd.

Gerry Smith, Gerry's Super Valu, spoke as a representative of the Howard Lake Business Association.

He said the business people are concerned about how the detour affects the downtown area. Good signage needs to be in place to guide people to the businesses.

Good Neighbor Days is a concern. Smith said he hoped the construction company would be apprised of the dates and make traffic flow at that time easy, since this is Howard Lake's big celebration.

Smith also asked that the entire road not be blocked off, as happened in Waverly. This probably killed one of the businesses, he said.

Access to the businesses needs to be done on a common sense basis, said Smith. For instance, one board over a ditch is not adequate for a senior citizen.

Dwayne Diers addressed the crowd about the detour on Wright Co. Rd. 6 and Wright Co. Rd. 8. He said he has gone so far as to place turn signals on all his wagons to assist traffic on the detour.

"People still try to pass the farm equipment when we are turning. It isn't a matter of if an accident will happen, but when it will happen," he said.

Diers asked that traffic laws be enforced on the detour. People speed, pass on yellow lines, and refuse to stop for stop signs, he said.

Addressing other items in the project, the Dustin Memorial will be relocated to a larger piece of land. Erosion control will be addressed in all areas, and 12 Mile Creek will have its meander length reestablished by request of the Department of Natural Resources.

Eastlund explained that the project as it stands shows no significant impact in the Environmental Assessment statement.

With only the two people commenting verbally, Eastlund encouraged residents to write letters if they have any concerns about the project by the March 2 deadline.

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