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Paynesville Press - Sept. 22, 2004

Township board defends no parking zone on Lake Koronis Road

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors took the following actions at their meeting on Monday, Sept. 13.

*The board discussed the no-parking zone on Lake Koronis Road with several concerned residents. The board explained that it had established the no-parking zone for safety reasons on the advice of a MnDOT traffic engineer, but board members expressed sympathy towards Ann and Gene Nonweiler, the only residents in the new no-parking zone between Grand View Resort and Veterans' Memorial Park.

Ann Nonweiler asked for more parking at their cottage, since they can only park two cars in their driveway, and told the board that the no-parking zone had lowered their property value. Their son, Tom Nonweiler, said he is unwilling to come to Lake Koronis now since he has no place to park his vehicle and boat trailer.

Board members said they would consider some private parking spaces for the Nonweilers if cars could be parked off the road asphalt but reminded the Nonweilers that the no-parking zone was a safety recommendation.

In July, after receiving a petition from 40 local residents, the township held a public hearing about closing that portion of Lake Koronis Road for safety reasons, where residents reported parking on the road in an effort to slow down vehicle traffic. In August, after meeting with a MnDOT traffic engineer, the board approved several safety measures, including the no-parking zone, viewing parked cars as a potential sight obstruction.

It is actually illegal to park on any township road and that portion of Lake Koronis Road has no room for parking on the shoulder due to the high hill and the slope to the lake.

The board told the Nonweilers and township resident Roger Bagley - who circulated the original petition but also opposes the no-parking zone - that the residents brought a safety issue to the board - saying at the hearing that the road was an accident waiting to happen - and that the board was doing its best to address that issue.

The board has also asked MnDOT to do a new speed study on Lake Koronis Road and Crosswood Road, which should take six to eight months to complete.

Board members suggested that the Nonweilers consider moving a fence on their property farther from the road, creating some space for parking, and told them that they would consider some private parking spaces but not on the asphalt.

*The board revised its construction standards for new platted roads. The standards now specifically require developers to build a seven-ton road with a minimum of three inches of bituminous surface.

The new policy also includes a provision for turning the road over to the township prior to paving. If so, the developer must put money into an escrow account for the cost of paving the road. Prior policy had the township accepting new roads only after paving.

By accepting the roads before paving, the township will be able to wait through a freeze-thaw cycle for the road to settle, which should produce a better road. The township will be able to pave the road when optimal, including waiting for construction to occur, saving wear and tear on the new road. And the township will be able to bid for the hard surfacing as part of their summer road maintenance projects. (Since the township uses greater quantities of asphalt for its road projects, it gets better bids from contractors.)

*The board approved using this new policy for Country Lane Acres, a new development owned by Larry and Sharon Wendroth. The board expects to accept the road at its next meeting after the Wendroths put money into an escrow account for paving their road.

*The board approved a new lease agreement with the Paynesville-New London-Spicer Hockey Association. The lease is similar to past years with the addition of a $23,500 payment from the hockey association to the township each June for the next five years. These payments repay the township for a $100,000 loan to add insulation and equipment to the arena in order to have ice in the summer.

*The board agreed to bill the city of Paynesville $1,500 for the oil depot. The bill includes $800 (half of the $1,600 cost) for the roof and $700 for maintenance. In a year of operation, the oil depot, located on the west side of the township maintenance garage, has received 3,600 gallons of oil.

*The board directed clerk Don Wiese to contact two residents with delinquent fire call charges to ask them to pay or the township will put the charges on their property taxes. *The board approved vacating Woodland Street, a platted but undeveloped road that lies south of Lake Koronis in Hanson's Subdivision.

*The board set their meeting schedule for this winter: Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m.; Monday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m.; Monday, March 7, at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, March 8, at 8:05 p.m. (annual meeting); and Thursday, March 17, at 7 p.m. The board will resume meeting on the second and fourth Mondays of the month in April 2005.

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