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Menahga looks at ways to curb speeding in town

Menahga resident Kurt Clark is worried that someone could get hurt by a speeding drivers on Highway 71 on the north end of town. He would like the city to work on fixing speeding and noise issues. )Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

A Menahga resident is worried that speeding problems on Highway 71 through town could result in a serious accident.

Kurt Clark, who lives on Highway 71 in Menahga, across from Innovis Health, approached the Menahga City Council last week to express his concerns.

Many vehicles don't slow down to 30 mph as they enter Menahga from the north, he said.

"They have three warnings but the semis just plow through," Clark said.

It also happens with vehicles heading north. They start speeding up at Chuck's Country Foods even though the speed doesn't change to 60 mph until after the bridge crossing the Blueberry River, he said.

"Sometimes I'll be slowing down to turn into my driveway and they'll be right on me," he said.

Clark is especially concerned about the elderly going to and from Innovis Health.

"They should not be rushed going in and out of there," he said.

The other issue Clark has is the noise created by semis jake braking in front of his home.

Clark offered a few suggestions that he thought could help with the speeding and noise issues.

He would like semis to be ticketed more. He thinks word would get around to others that Menahga isn't a place to speed.

"A lot of cities have ordinances that say vehicle noise laws are enforced," Clark said. "Maybe if we had a sign up it might curb some of that."

Menahga police chief Scott Koennicke said he has spoken with Clark on several occasions about the speeding and noise issues.

"At this point, there's not much we haven't tried or thought of," he said.

Koennicke has tried sitting near the edge of town to catch speeders. As soon as he does that, everyone has slowed down, he said.

Koennicke has also spoken to the Minnesota Department of Transportation about having a 45 mph speed sign installed between the 60 mph and 30 mph signs as a buffer.

"They said they'd look into it," he said.

It's also an issue of manpower for the police department.

"We're all in agreement but we're spread thin," Koennicke said. "If I'm sitting at the north part of town then I get complaints I'm not somewhere else."

The police committee was asked to talk about the issue some more to see if anything can be done about speeding issues in Menahga.

"I don't take complaining lightly," Clark said. "I'm thankful of the odds of people not being hit."

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561