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Menahga City Council proposes fix for Hwy. 71 and 87 intersection

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) asked the Menahga City Council for suggestions about resolving unsafe conditions at the intersection.

Hwy7187IntersectionMenahga.jpg
The Menahga City Council proposes eliminating a parking space at each corner of the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 71 and State Hwy. 87 to improve visibility.
Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise
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The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) asked the Menahga City Council for suggestions about resolving unsafe conditions at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 71 and State Hwy. 87.

The council mulled over its options at their Monday, Aug. 8 meeting.

Interim City Administrator Betty Thomsen reported that MnDOT was receiving calls that it’s difficult to see across parked vehicles at the intersection. Eliminating a parking space would be one idea, she said.

Public Works Director Ron Yliniemi said he spoke to a MnDOT official who proposed either a stoplight or a four-way stop.

“Can you imagine the traffic backed up?” asked Council member Durwin Tomperi, adding, “I say our best bet is to eliminate parking along the insurance company. It’s the quickest, easiest fix because they have plenty of parking in the back.”

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Menahga Police Chief Adam Gunderson agreed that should be sufficient.

Council member Dan Warmbold commented that one car won’t make a difference. He preferred a four-way stop.

Council member Robyn Keranen proposed a roundabout, generating laughter throughout the room.

She made a motion to cut a parking space from each corner of the intersection and install signs that say “no parking from here to corner.” It passed unanimously.

Yliniemi reminded the council that MnDOT will have final approval.

In related business, the council did as follows:

  • Approved the purchase of an automatic hydrant flusher, costing $2,399 from Ferguson Waterworks of Fargo, because the water main replacement project on Hwy. 87 is unlikely to happen this year.
  • Accepted a proposal from Pro Sweep, Inc. of West Fargo to sweep city streets this fall, at a cost of $4,500.
  • Decided the new water tower’s colors should be light gray, with logo lettering in black, trees in green and waves in blue.
  • Set a public meeting for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the senior center to discuss an energy and environmental plan for the city. At a prior meeting, Thomsen said there was a strong possibility the city could receive funding from Region 5 Development Commission for projects like solar panels at the tennis courts, switching city street lights to LED, energy audits and more.
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Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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