BY GABE LICHT
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, MN Amid concerns about the quality of Farmington Avenue and increased truck traffic on the popular cut-through road, the Franklin Township Board approved a resolution to post a 7-ton weight restriction on the road until further notice.
The board will revisit the issue once the ground freezes thoroughly.
“We’re talking about Farmington because we’re not real impressed with the surface quality,” Chair DeWayne Bauman said.
Supervisor John Czanstkowski spoke with attorney Mike Courie regarding Farmington Avenue.
“The only thing we can do is post the road. He recommends posting it at 7 tons,” Czanstkowski said. “Then, we have to get the county to enforce it.”
Resident Scott Newmann, who works in the construction industry, said, “If it’s a 9-ton road, you shouldn’t have a failure like that. It sounds to me like you may have a product issue. State roads are built to 10 tons.”
Resident Wally Johnson, who lives on Farmington Avenue, said he has noticed deterioration on the road, which underwent a $1.2 million reconstruction in 2015.
“You could see the deterioration within a month,” Johnson said. “Right now, the entrance onto the bridge is not as smooth as it was a month ago when you enter and exit that bridge. There’s a little bit of a lip on it now.”
He pointed to an up-tick of truck traffic on the road as a contributing factor.
“The last three to four weeks, there were close to 100 trucks a day on Farmington,” Johnson said. “We looked at our watches and, in five minutes, there were nine trucks.”
He referenced opposition from township residents who did not want to pay for the road.
“I think people under duress to pay for this would be delighted to know something is being done to protect their investment,” Johnson said.
Bauman said the road was being treated like a haul road.
“We’re looking at something that is designated a haul road, and we’ve got to slow that down,” Bauman said. “Under normal application, normal business, I don’t think we should try to stop or restrict it.”
While the weight restriction is posted, school buses, garbage trucks, and milk trucks are exempt, Czanstkowski said. Special permits can be issued in cases of septic or other emergencies.
In related business, engineer Shane Nelson will attend the Monday, Jan. 2, meeting to share his findings and the township’s options for Farmington Avenue and 40th Street.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• approved the fire contract with Watertown for $50,797 and reviewed the assessments from Delano and Montrose fire departments. The township pays 27.4 percent of the Delano Fire Department budget, amounting to $157,336, and pays $125 per property to Montrose Fire Department, amounting to $19,250.
• approved the Wright County assessment contract. The cost will increase from $10.50 per parcel to $11 per parcel in 2018, and to $12 per parcel in 2019.
• reminded residents not to plow snow into or across township roads per state statute.
• authorized staff to research and purchase a new copier up to $400.
• set the 2017 meeting dates for the first Monday of each month with no exceptions.