Alley changes were discussed at city council

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 8/19/97.

Alleys, be it improvements, closing or changing traffic patterns, were the topic of discussion at the Paynesville City Council Wednesday evening. The council approved changing the direction of traffic on the alley between Lakedale Telephone and the American Legion. Earlier this summer, the council approved making the alley one-way exiting on Mill Street by the elementary school.

The city has received numerous complaints about the safety of this alley, especially with traffic exiting on Mill Street in front of the elementary school. The public works committee recom-mended opening up the alley to two-way traffic and eliminating parking 60 feet to the west and 30 feet to the east of the alley on Highway 23.

Doug Benson, Jim Ochs, and Ruth Hopfer, business owners along Highway 23, voiced concern about losing three more parking spaces across from their businesses with the change in traffic pattern for the alley.

Ron Mergen, public works director, said the council is in a lose-lose situation. The alley is too narrow and visibility was poor for traffic to meet, yet you donít want to endanger children near the elementary school.

Council member Dennis Zimmerman said the council discussed the issue for several weeks before making a decision. ďWe are trying to adjust and see what works out the best,Ē he added.

Council member Dave Peschong, said the council looked at a number of options and the conclusion was opening it up was the best margin for safety. ďIf we find another option that might work better, weíll consider it,Ē he added.

The council also approved quotes on upgrading the alley from Central Avenue and Lyndall Avenue. Mergen received only one bid from a local company for $5,909. It was recommended to put this project off until next spring and add it to the 1998 street improvement project as this would probably bring the costs down dramatically.

In other business:
ēThe council reviewed the public works recommendation to eliminating the curve around the Gazebo Park next year when Washburne Avenue is under construction. The committee approved moving ahead with this proposal.

ēThe council discussed the letter from Bauerly Brothers concerning the sidewalk project on Minnesota Street from 1996. They agreed it was a warranty issue and will discuss and mark areas of concrete needing replacing in the spring.

ēThe council approved a resolution to apply for a state loan from the drinking water revolving loan fund for next yearís street project. Pete Carlson, engineer, explained the city can borrow money at reduced rates to upgrade anything dealing with the water system.

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