Township designates three more roads as rustic

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 7/6/00.

After a public hearing, the supervisors of Paynesville Township voted to designate 283rd Avenue, Cedardale Road, and a portion of Cross Creek as Rustic Roads and to lower the speed limit on all three roads to 45 mph.

Supervisors John Atwood, Warren Nehring, and Don Pietsch voted unanimously in approving the measure.

The township had previously designated a number of roads around Lake Koronis as Rustic Roads. Signs will be erected to mark the roads.

The public hearing was held because the speed limit on 283rd Avenue, Cedardale Road, and Cross Creek Road currently exceeds 50 mph. To be a Rustic Road, the maximum speed limit is 45 mph.

At the hearing, which had 30 people in attendance, no one objected to lowering the speed limit. Paynesville Police Chief Tony Schmitt also attended and said that he thought the current limits were too high.

A resident suggested making the limit at most 40 mph on 283rd Avenue, which runs from Highway 55 to County Road 34. He cited a day care business and a dangerous curve on the eastern edge of 283rd Avenue as reasons for a lower limit.

"We're living with 55 now," Schmitt told the supervisors. "I guess it's up to you. Forty or 45 is fine with me."

Township resident Cory Meagher asked what the benefits of the Rustic Road designation are.

In addition to the power to lower speed limits, which is normally the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Highway Department, the designation limits the township's liability. Since the roads are meant to be scenic, seeing the sign should warn drivers that the road might be narrow and have limited shoulders.

Having started in 1995, the Rustic Road program is relatively new, Pietsch explained. It provides more local control for roads with scenic value.

Cedardale Road also runs between Co. Rd. 34 and Highway 55. It is further towards Rice Lake than 283rd Avenue.

Only the portion of Cross Creek Road by the North Fork of the Crow River would be designated as a Rustic Road. The road straightens out by Cyrilla Beach Road.

Other business
•Pietsch examined the records at Stearns County and reported that he thinks Cushing Road as well as the roads by Linus Nistler's residence and by Sandy Point Park are actually township roads. As such, the township needs to decide if they want to provide services for these roads.

According to his research, Pietsch believed Cedar Point Road had been abandoned and was a private road, meaning services could not be provided unless the road was brought up to specifications and accepted by the township.

The other supervisors will examine Pietsch's research. A decision could be made at the township meeting on Monday, July 10.

•The supervisors approved splitting a lot owned by Dan and Noel Paetznick into two separate lots. To do this, each lot needed to be at least two acres in size to comply with the township ordinance.

•Pietsch informed the board that the revised township ordinance should be ready by their July meeting.

•Atwood said that no spraying of noxious weeds had been done because of the weather. Spot spraying for poison ivy would be done in the township as soon as the weather cooperated.

•The board recessed their meeting to look at the shoulder of Dolphin Drive and to investigate a variance request from a homeowner who wants to put sprinklers in the right of way of a township road.

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