Are stop signs needed at new YMCA?Stop signs, a new license bureau director, computer purchases, roof replacement and new squad cars were just a few of the agenda items discussed at a nearly three-hour long Douglas County Board meeting Tuesday morning.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Stop signs, a new license bureau director, computer purchases, roof replacement and new squad cars were just a few of the agenda items discussed at a nearly three-hour long Douglas County Board meeting Tuesday morning.
Dave Robley, public works director, explained the process for putting up stop signs at an intersection.
At the last board meeting, Commissioner Norm Salto made a request for the county to look at putting a four-way stop system at the intersection of County Roads 82 and 45, which is near the entrance to the new YMCA.
Salto said once the YMCA opens, the intersection may become more congested, making it harder for traffic to cross from County Road 45 to the YMCA entrance. He said it could become a safety issue, especially for children on bicycles.
Robley said that at some point, the intersection may require more control, but that now may not be the time. He noted that before a stop sign system can be installed, certain criteria have to be met and a traffic study would have to be conducted.
According to information Robley provided from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), the criteria includes that there needs to be a crash problem. Five or more must be reported in a 12-month period that are susceptible to correction by a multi-way stop system. Such crashes include right and left turn collisions as well as right-angle collisions.
Board chair Paul Anderson, in disbelief, said, “I can’t believe the state says we have to have five crashes.”
In addition, there needs to be a certain amount of traffic that goes through the intersection – at least 300 vehicles per hour for any eight hours of an average day. Also, the combined vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle volume entering the intersection from the minor street approaches must average at least 200 units per hour for the same eight hours, with an average delay to minor street vehicular traffic of at least 30 seconds per vehicle during the highest hour.
Commissioner Salto suggested that the county wait until the YMCA opens and then proceed with a traffic study. He also mentioned that the county could put a pedestrian crossing.
A new director
The board of commissioners appointed a new license bureau director.
Danita Ward, who has been serving as the interim director since Colleen Boesen retired in January, was selected as the new director. She has worked in the license bureau office for the past seven years.
There were 283 applicants for the position and six of the applicants were interviewed.
Social Services Director Mike Woods requested an approval for his department to purchase 45 new computers. The total cost for the computers was estimated at between $18,500 and $21,500. Woods noted that stimulus funds would help pay for the purchase of the computers. He also noted that any additional money would come out of the social services budget.
Steve Ziemer, the county’s facilities director, provided two bid proposals for a portion of the roof to be replaced at the Law Enforcement Center/Services Center building.
There are two sections of roof that need to be replaced – a 3,352 square-foot section and an 800 square-foot section.
The county received two bid proposals. The first was from Buttweiler’s Do-All Inc. in Alexandria for a total of $15,650 and the other was from Thelen Heating and Roofing, Inc. out of Brainerd for a total of $32,900. The board approved the low bid.
New squad cars
Without much discussion, the board approved the purchase of two new squad cars for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The total cost for both cars is estimated at $44,000, explained Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen. He noted the funds to purchase the cars would come out of the capital equipment budget.
Due to the budget shortage, Commissioner Anderson said that when he spoke with Wolbersen at an earlier date about the need for new squad cars, they both agreed to request just two cars, even though there is a need for more.
Commissioner Jerry Johnson made the motion to approve the request, while Commissioner Dan Olson seconded it. The request was approved 5-0.
Wolbersen also asked the board to approve a proclamation declaring May 9-15 as National Police Week and May 15 as Peace Officer’s Memorial Day. Both requests were approved.