Objections raised about Spruce Street extension

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 3/24/99.

Another route/exit was suggested at the Project 55 public hearing held on March 10 at city hall.

Project 55 is the proposed annexation and development of about five acres south of Highway 55 and west of County Road 181. The project also includes extending Spruce Street to County Road 181.

The purpose of the project is to find an alternate access to the Maple Street and Spruce Street area to handle the increased traffic flow because of new housing development.

The proposed project is designed to extend Spruce Street across the open field to Highway 181 between Tom Thumb and Koronis Parts. The project would include platting of 18 housing lots, looping the city water lines and sanitary sewer lines.

Bob Stoneburner, a property owner south of the proposed project area, suggested the extension run from Maple Street to County Road 181.

This would place a road between his property and property owned by Pat Flanders and Ron Frauenshuh.

At present, the suggested route is only a cartway and not maintained by the township.

John Wimmer asked if the route remains as proposed, how would it benefit him. "I have my own well and don't need your water. Besides, I don't want to be annexed to the city," Wimmer said. "Why not design an exit to Stearns Avenue instead of County Road 181 where there already is a traffic problem."

Pete Carlson, SEH engineer, explained that there is a huge grade difference to complete Stearns Avenue at Highway 55. "In addition, MnDOT would prefer a frontage road in the area and would eliminate some driveways, which is a longer process to go through," Carlson added.

Stoneburner asked if the city's goal shouldn't be to find the best traffic pattern and accessibility to the area.

Flanders reminded him that a portion of that area has a steep slope and would not be feasible for a road.

Wimmer added he doesn't disagree about the need for the road. "At some point in time, something needs to be done. However, if I'm going to be taxed, I want to see the benefit I'll receive from the project," Wimmer said.

In discussions with Tom Thumb owners, they indicated they wanted to be annexed and hooked up to city water and sewer.

Warren Nehring, Paynesville Township supervisor, asked how come the township wasn't notified of the project or proposed annexation.

"You talk about what the city will gain from the annexation but not what the township will lose," Nehring said. "Maybe the township could be compensated over a period of years (five to 10 years) for lost taxes," he added.

Councilman Dennis Zimmerman suggested Carlson and the public works committee go back and look at the elevations, review the access to Highway 55 and clarify alternatives. "A number of issues have been raised and we need to see the overall picture before a decision can be made," Zimmerman said.>

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