Street fixes coming to Two Harbors, but at a costPotholes and cracks in the worst areas of town will be fixed in Two Harbors by an outside provider, but it will mean amending the budget.
Potholes and cracks in the worst areas of town will be fixed in Two Harbors by an outside provider, but it will mean amending the budget.
At Monday’s council meeting, all but president Mary Rosati voted to spend the $5,000 to bring in a company that uses a special process to addrewss severe street problems.
“It would take five days to do the entire community. We hope that in two days we could do a great number and next year do the remainder and the alleys,” said Dan Jones, who sits on the finance committee. “This isn’t a cold patch; but a different system, and it’s a way of addressing severe street problems”
Rosati said that while she supports getting the streets done, she disagrees with amending the budget.
“We looked at this idea last year and didn’t put it in the budget,” she said. “It’s a great plan for next year.”
Mayor Randy Bolen said he has seen the process used in St. Louis County, and has watched how well it worked.
“It held up beautifully (over the winter),” Bolen said. “Even though it’s not a mill and overlay, it’s more progressive and is more permanent. It’s better than a cold patch.”
Councilman Jason Kuettel called cold patching “throwing good money after bad,” and councilman John Dover admitted than when he drives around town, he chooses his roads carefully to avoid the worst ones.
“There’s not a better time to fix these roads than now, and I guarantee we’ll get no complaints from constituents,” Kuettel said.
Cyndi Ryder, who was in the audience suggested that the decision shouldn’t be about cost comparison.
“You have a lot of labor throwing cold patch into the ground,” she said. “Maybe it won’t be so far apart as you think (to hire the outside firm).”
The council also had a lengthy discussion about business signage around town. Steve Detlefsen said that a letter from planner Josh Bergstadt said 32 people are not in compliance with the sign ordinance. Most of these involve temporary “sandwich signs,” some of which are also off premises.
Bolen said he had no problem with those kinds of signs , and Chris swantson agreed.
“A lot of people take those in at night. I don’t have a problem with them, but we should either enforce the ordinance, or change it.”
Jason Kuettel said that over 30 violations “means there’s a problem.”
“I see that as an issue, a lot bigger one than enforcement,” he said.
Swanson noted that some of the signs are in the state right-of-way on 7th Avenue, and that “it’s not even our issue. Let them deal it.”
In the end the council referred the issue to planning and zoning, to ask for a recommendation about the idea of allowing these temporary sandwich signs.
The council spent a little time talking about the Honking Tree, and the the fact that people want to donate money towards its restoration, or the preservation of of the remaining trunk. A fund has been set up, but needs an administrator, and Bolen asked that the city do that.
Rosati objected strongly, saying it’s only a tree, and that people could better donate their money to the food shelf or to other povery initiatives. Bolen disagreed.
“People want to make a positive out of a negative,” he said. “This even made national news, and when I met with Congressman (Jim) Oberstar, and he said the news crushed him.”
The council agreed to administer the Honking Tree fund at The Lake Bank. Rosati voted no.
It was noted that the next council meeting will be Tuesday, May 26, because Memorial Day falls on the regular council meeting night.