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Eagle Cliff bicyclists continue unsafe passage


Fri, Aug 28th, 2009
Posted in Government

Mike McGrath addressed the Fillmore County Board about the continuing hazard along State Highway 16 for bicyclists traveling from Eagle Cliff Campground to the Whalan bridge at the board's August 25 meeting. At the last opportunity for citizens' input at the July 28 meeting, Horace and Sally Stang, residents of the campground who ride their bicycles from the campground to the Whalan bridge, also described the serious danger the short stretch presents.

McGrath said he had testified before the Fillmore County Planning Commission in May 2005 when Eagle Cliff Campground had applied for a Conditional Use Permit for an expansion. He said he had warned of a serious safety concern that he insists should have been addressed prior to allowing the campground to expand. McGrath described an increasingly dangerous situation as the bicycle traffic has increased to as many as several hundred on a weekend. He owns one of the properties between the campground and the bridge over the Root River at Whalan.

McGrath put part of the hazard on the bicyclists' shoulders as they ride all over the highway. Heavy truck and car traffic travels often at excessive speeds and weaves around bicyclists. He said the campground owners have made a request to the Minnesota Department of Transportation to create a bike trail along the highway or in the right of way. The section in question belongs half to the township and half to the city of Whalan.

McGrath has spoken to Craig Blommer of the Department of Natural Resources among others. Blommer suggested getting a group together representing Whalan, the DNR, property owners, the highway department and the county board. Commissioner Randy Dahl agreed to represent the county as it is in his district.

Mr. McGrath insisted something needs to be done, but he was against a private trail on his property. He said by law the county could use highway funds for the bike trail if there was a public need. Chairman Chuck Amunrud asked if he supported MnDot putting in a bike lane. McGrath said that he would as long as it wasn't a private lane. He insisted this is the responsibility of a public entity to build and maintain the trail.

Commissioner Duane Bakke suggested a gravel bike lane could run on top of underground utilities. McGrath noted he would need to maintain access to his field and that there was another property owner between him and the bridge. He said MnDot wouldn't commit to anything but agreed to look in .....
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Rushford City Council moves forward with City Center Project

Fri, Aug 28th, 2009
Posted in Government

A presentation by the well-organized library board and its lead architect, Val Schute of River Architects, was the big event at the Monday, August 24, city council meeting. It was intended to ascertain the council's commitment in moving forward with ..... 
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Spring Valley discusses H1N1 flu and 800 mhz radios

Fri, Aug 28th, 2009
Posted in Government

Issues involving radios and H1N1 flu consumed most of the city council meeting on Monday night.

John Dols of the Emergency Management Team briefed the council on a meeting he had gone to last week in Preston concerning the H1N1 flu. He repo ..... 
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Elementary School gets approval for storage building

Fri, Aug 28th, 2009
Posted in Government

A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) was approved by the Chatfield City Council for a storage structure near the new elementary school, which lies within a residential area, at the council's August 24 meeting. Planning and Zoning had met in special sessio ..... 
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Emergency communication options weighed by county

Fri, Aug 21st, 2009
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Board held a special meeting on August 18 to review the pros and cons of three potential future emergency communication systems. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent US government agency responsible to cong ..... 
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Preston Council and utility review proposed contract extension

Fri, Aug 21st, 2009
Posted in Government

The Preston Utility Commission and the Preston City Council met for a second week together on August 18 to study the analysis completed by R. W. Beck, Inc. The firm was tasked by Preston and several other communities that are currently members of th ..... 
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Preston discusses parking ordinance for residential streets

Fri, Aug 21st, 2009
Posted in Government

Preston Police Chief Matt Schultz, along with City Administrator Joe Hoffman, described the concern over "on street parking" of semi trucks and trailers and recreational vehicles at the city's August 17 meeting. Hoffman said the city has received an ..... 
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Lanesboro strives for approved 2010 budget

Fri, Aug 21st, 2009
Posted in Government

Lanesboro's City Administrator Bobbie Vickerman informed the City Council that the skateboard park had been vandalized for the second time in two weeks. She said the panels were ripped off, cigarettes were all over the place, graffiti had been spray ..... 
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Preston considers its energy future

Fri, Aug 14th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Preston City Council met in special session with the Preston Utility Commission to hear a presentation from the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) early on August 10. Four officers of the company, including Ray Hayward, CEO, Larry ..... 
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