School zone speed limit to reduce near Eagle View
The county engineer said reducing the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph will give drivers more time to perceive traffic and make a decision.
With traffic entering and exiting Eagle View Elementary School expected to nearly double this school year, the Crow Wing County Board agreed to reduce the speed limit to 30 mph in the area during peak demand.
Leaders of the Pequot Lakes School District expect the increase due to the answers of parents in a recent survey, which revealed a preference for pickup and dropoff instead of busing due to COVID-19. The school zone on County Highway 11 in Breezy Point was already problematic with traffic congestion at the beginning and end of school days, County Engineer Tim Bray told the board Tuesday, Aug. 25, with cars stacking in turn lanes creating sightline issues.
Bray said reducing the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph will give drivers more time to perceive traffic and make a decision. In most cases, changes to speed limits are in the hands of state authorities, but in the case of a school zone, local authorities can approve a change.
Other changes planned to help improve the situation include shifting farther out the white box indicating where to stop when exiting, called a stop bar, and widening the triangular area between the right turn lane and the traffic lane, or the gore, to improve visibility. Striping in the parking lot and a sign will remind drivers to form three lines in approaching the school.
Commissioner Rosemary Franzen made the motion to approve the speed limit change and Commissioner Bill Brekken seconded. The resolution passed unanimously.
In other business, the county board:
Heard from Commissioner Paul Koering, who asked Chairman Steve Barrows whether he would remain on his assigned committees. Koering said he’d been asked by some members of the Brainerd Lakes Airport Commission about it following his recent removal as chairman of the county board by a 3-2 vote.
“Am I going to remain on there? Am I going to remain on the budget committee? Am I going to remain on personnel? Or am I deserving of more punishment?” Koering asked.
Barrows responded, “First of all, I don’t know of any punishment. But I will acknowledge that you will be staying on those committees.”
Heard letters submitted as part of open forum from residents. The Hamm family, which owns property on three sides of the tax-forfeited land in Trommald and Irondale Township currently under consideration for a shooting range, registered their opposition to the project.
“Please consider our farming livelihood and the safety to the surrounding families,” the letter stated.
A second letter from Jack Durand of St. Mathias Township, addressed to Commissioner Bill Brekken, questioned his motion to remove Koering as chairman.
Agreed to enter a joint powers agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to accept funds to offset the costs associated with proper disposal of deer carcasses to minimize the spread of chronic wasting disease. Each state agency will contribute $50,000 toward those expenses, which include an incinerator, wood to run it and deer exclusion fencing.
Authorized entering a contract with Surface Preparation Technologies for centerline rumble strips on county highways 3, 16, 18, 29 and 31. The contract amount was $70,319.65, less than half of the engineer’s estimate of $149,010.57. The project is expected to begin in September and be completed by mid-October.
Approved a final payment to Anderson Brothers Construction Co. for aggregate surfacing maintenance. The total contract amount was $193,309.54, which was 3.3% below the original expected amount. The board also approved a final payment to Lot Pros for a total amount of $206,082 for crack sealing on county highways 1, 3, 4 and 36, along with Ideal Township roads. This was 6.1% below the original estimate.
Granted a 33-foot private easement crossing tax-forfeited land to Susan O’Hara to allow her to access her property in Perry Lake Township. The board also modified an easement agreement across tax-forfeited property with Daniel P. Miller and Christopher M. Miller, to include access to all property owned by the Millers in the city of Fifty Lakes.
Approved a temporary on-sale liquor license application for the American Legion Billie Brown Post No. 627 for an event Sept. 11-12 at the Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center in Unorganized Territory.
Supported a lawful gambling application for an exempt permit for Cuyuna Range Ducks Unlimited for a Sept. 12 event at Bridge Tavern in Perry Lake Township.
Approved the promotion of Thomas Roloff, environmental services specialist in training, land services. The board also approved replacement staffing for a customer service specialist following the promotion.
Approved the hirings of Ana Anderson, social worker, community services; and Meranda Van Santen, corrections officer, sheriff’s office.
Accepted the departures of Connor Plagge, geographic information system intern, administrative services; and Rob Kowalzek, deputy, sheriff’s office. Replacement staffing was approved for the deputy position.
Approved replacement staffing for a captain in the sheriff’s office due to a retirement expected in December and for a deputy position following an expected promotion at a later date.
CHELSEY PERKINS may be reached at 218-855-5874 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow on Twitter at twitter.com/DispatchChelsey .