May 7, 2007

Winsted residents talk traffic safety for McLeod County Road 1

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

The timing was right at Tuesday’s meeting for addressing the Winsted City Council on McLeod County Road 1 traffic safety issues.

Just five days earlier, another accident took place along County Road 1, with a vehicle being rear-ended as the driver attempted to make a left turn onto Winsted’s Main Avenue.

During the open forum portion of the meeting, Lenora Kubasch, resident and business owner who lives along McLeod County Road 1, asked for the council’s help in getting something in place to make the highway safer.

Four years ago, Kubasch and five other property owners living along McLeod County Road 1 began a petition to make Winsted residents aware of the traffic problem those living along the highway were already beginning to see.

In those four years, Kubasch has seen an accident where the vehicle ended up in her front yard and, in another, a child was hit on a bicycle not too far from her home.

With businesses located in the industrial park, plus the additional truck traffic from Vitran and Waste Management using the county road, Kubasch only sees the traffic increasing. She also reminded everyone that the county road is a main artery of Highways 7 and 12.

Speaking for residents of Westgate and Grass Lake housing developments, as well as other owners along the highway, Kubasch said she would like to see the speed limit dropped to 30.

“It is what the speed limit is through towns like Howard Lake and Montrose,” she said.

In addition, she would like to see a four-way stop or flashing crosswalk placed at McLeod County Road 1 and Winsted’s Main Avenue.

“Children want to cross McLeod County Road 1 to get to the parks and school. I appeal to you to arrange to get something done,” Kubasch said.

City Administrator Brent Mareck agreed with Kubasch.

“We have asked the county in the last few years to reduce the speed limit on McLeod County Road 1 and we have asked for a four-way stop. Both were denied,” Mareck said.

Mareck suggested residents go to the county board.

“They need to see people like Lenora at the county board,” he said.

Council Member Tom Ollig suggested that the council invite the County Commissioner Ray Bayerl and County Highway Engineer John Brunkhorst to the next Winsted council meeting.

Public information hearing set for city center

A public information hearing for the city center and the lakefront promenade has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 5 at 6 p.m.

Plans and specifications for the city center and lakefront promenade were approved by the council and it authorized the advertisement of bids.

All bids for the city center and lakefront promenade should be submitted by a general contractor to the city and are due Tuesday, June 5.

Since last fall, the city center and lakefront promenade project costs have increased overall by about 10 percent.

The March 2006 estimated project cost was $4,643,797. The current estimated project cost is $5,314,759.

The additional tax needed over the 2007 levy impact residents as follows:

• $100,000 residential taxable value will be $80.84 annually or $9.74 a month.

• $150,000 residential taxable value is $121.26 annually or $10.10 a month.

• $200,000 residential taxable value is $161.68 annually or $13.47 a month.

• $250,000 residential taxable value is $202.10 annually or $16.84 a month.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• accepted a bid from Digital-Ally Systems for the purchase of two in-squad video cameras and warranty for $10,066.

• approved the addition of a third squad car with a six-year squad car rotation. The police department will keep the 2003 squad car and purchase the new 2007 squad car outright.

This will also mean additional expense for insurance, maintenance, equipment, and an extended warrantee for the third vehicle

• agreed to store the royalty float at Steve and Pam Fiecke’s residence for $60 a month.

• asked SEH engineers to put together a proposal plan to begin preparing the Winsted Airport turf runway 9/27 for pavement at an undetermined future date.

It was one of three options presented to the council as the federal funding to pave the runway did not come through for this year. If the city does not use the banked funding, it will have lost $134,000 of the airport’s entitlements.

Both the airport commission and the city wanted to work toward the paving. By preparing the current turf, the base will be ready to use at a later date, when the runway funding for pavement comes through.

• listened to Mareck report that the legislation for the bonding on the city hall made it out of the house tax committee.

• heard a report by Mareck on the success of the Arbor Day celebration. He estimated approximately 50 people attended the event. He attributed the success of the evening to the efforts of City Clerk Deb Boelter and city maintenance worker Dave Meyer.

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