Herald JournalHerald Journal, April 5, 2004

Townships not interested in new address signs

By Ryan Gueningsman

Local townships gave a thumbs down to a proposal from the McLeod County Highway Department that would replace all of the rural address signs and street signs in McLeod County.

Replacing all the address signs and street name signs would cost about $277,000 in addition to the annual maintenance cost of about $50,000. That includes building up a fund to replace the signs again in 12 years.

“Bergen Township even passed a resolution not to support the plan,” said McLeod County Board Chairman Ray Bayerl.

Bayerl said that the signs that are currently in place have been there about 15 years, but their life expectancy is only about 10 to12 years.

In Bergen Township, the proposal would cost $23,625 the first year, in addition to an annual ongoing township cost of $4,159 a year.

Winsted Township would be paying slightly less, with the first year cost being $23,321 and the annual ongoing township cost of $4,184.

Each home site would be assessed $7 a year for maintenance under the proposal. If a sign gets demolished or needs to be replaced, there is the initial fee and then the $7 a year.

“Right now, the proposal doesn’t seem to have really any support,” Bayerl said.

Bergen Township Clerk Anita Bahr said that at the annual meeting, voters didn’t feel the project was necessary at this time.

“It’s a lot of money,” sbaid Winsted Township Clerk Susan Goebel. “Of the three fire departments that work in Winsted Township, none of them expressed any concern with the existing signs. None of them said they have ever missed a house because of not seeing a sign.”

Winsted Township has not taken an official vote on it, but it doesn’t sound like many residents are in favor of it, Goebel said.

“I don’t know if the townships are even going to have a say in it,” she added.

The one concern that was expressed by the fire departments was if they pull up to a common drive, and all three numbers are on the same post, they don’t know which house belongs to which number and that’s the only concern they’ve had, not that they couldn’t see them, Goebel added.

“We haven’t had a workshop or anything on it yet to go further,” Bayerl said of the issue. “I guess we’ll have to see what the rest of the board wants to do and see where to go from here.”

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