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Paynesville Press - February 2, 2005

City council revisits highway 23 resolutions

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

*The council reviewed two resolutions passed in 2003 stating that the city supported Highway 23 improvements and requesting that the state remove the far west bypass route from consideration. After polling new city council members (Jeff Bertram and Tom Lindquist), the council unanimously agreed that it still supports these resolutions.

The city has a right to have a new highway touch Paynesville and in 2003 passed a resolution that the far west bypass is not in the best interest of the city of Paynesville .

*The council also agreed to write a letter to MnDOT over concerns for the length of the Highway 23 study. After a recent announcement that the study would be delayed again, Bertram suggested that the council should submit a letter to MnDOT expressing the city's dissatisfaction with the repeated delays. MnDOT should be told to "stop the excuses and let's move forward," said Bertram. (See related story)

*The council held a public informational meeting regarding a resurfacing and restriping project of Highway 23 through the city. MnDOT plans to resurface the highway from Paynesville to Richmond as part of a routine maintenance project. When it restripes the new roadway in Paynesville, a center turn lane will be added from Sterans Avenue to Highway 55. (See related story.)

*The council approved an ordinance requiring placement permits for buildings of 120 sq. ft. or less and for the placement of fences. Requiring a permit for small buildings and fences will help ensure that residents are aware of the city's setback requirements.

*The council approved a deferred payment agreement for James Evans, who purchased a Tri-CAP home on Maplewood Avenue in Ampe Morningside Plat Three. Under the terms of the agreement, Evans will receive a $2,500 loan to apply toward a down payment and closing costs for the home. The loan will be forgivable if Evans lives in the home for five year.s.

*The council approved closing city hall on Friday, Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving. Employees will use either vacation or personal time for the day.

*The council also approved making Christmas Eve a holiday for city employees in 2005, since Christmas Day falls on Saturday. City employees also will be paid for four hours of vacation time for Christmas Eve.

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