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Speeding problems in Nevis addressed

Concerns about traffic going too fast in Nevis and on Hwy. 34 where the 50-miles-per-hour signs are posted were addressed June 10 at the Nevis City Council meeting.

The council first discussed the feasibility of a speed study on Hwy. 34 requested by resident Justin Isaacson last month.

The council ruled out this option after learning it could actually increase the speed limit in this area.

"It could backfire on us," council member Jeanne Thompson said. "They put the speed thing out, and if everyone's driving 60, they could also increase the speed limit to 60, which seems a little backwards since the whole point of the speed study is to see how fast people are going and get them to slow down."

After discussion, the council decided the most feasible option to deal with speeders is placing "reduced speed" signs on both sides of the 50 mph speed limit coming into Nevis. The council approved requesting the advanced warning signs.

Flashing signs showing the speeds of cars through the 50 mph zones on Hwy. 34 was another option discussed. Because the city would have to pay for the signs, no action was taken at this time.

Speeders also a problem in town

The council discussed drivers greatly exceeding the 30 mph speed limit in town, especially on Main Street.

City Maintenance Supervisor Don Umthun said he would talk to Police Chief Josh Oswald about adding more signs and posting "children at play" signs in residential neighborhoods.

"I've noticed many drivers going way too fast," Thompson said. "I'm on the side of slower in town is better, and 30 feels a little fast with all the cars that are parked on Main Street and Hwy. 2." She suggested reducing the speed to 20. Umthun will check on the possibility of reducing the speed in certain areas of town.

"I can see, when Hwy. 2 gets redone this summer and parking is parallel, now it will be even more congested," Umthun said. "People don't park right next to the curb, and that's going to get narrow fast. Maybe at the same time we need to reduce the speed there, too."

Umthun said the parking in front of the Iron Horse will be parallel as well, eliminating people backing into traffic.

Keeping the area near the Heartland Trail clear of parked vehicles so bikers have trail access will also be a priority. Putting cones in designated no-parking areas was suggested.

Adding a wrong-way sign on the city's only one-way down Main Street was also discussed. It was reported that people are regularly going in both directions on that block, especially when leaving the post office.

In other action, the council:

• Approved a policy regulating adjustments to city utility bills. Any adjustment over $100 will need council approval in order for an adjustment to be granted.

• Made a motion to put the dock in down by the city beach. While it does not have handicapped access, Thompson said the city already established with the park project that it would be extremely cost-prohibitive to bring access to that area. "There is access for them to get to their boat and out on the lake at the public access," she added. It was suggested "no diving" be painted on the dock. Johnson said the dock is a popular spot for people to pull up their boats to access the beach.

• Approved having wristbands for adults attending musical events at Muskie Days. The cost will be $5 per night. Each entity will keep money from the wrist bands they sell to offset their costs. Wristbands will admit the wearer to all music events.

• Approved Daunten Veit purchasing and setting up a self-serve pay dumpster near Hwy. 34 where the old city dumpster to be used by donation on the honor system. "It's a service to town to keep things cleaned up," he said.

• Set a special budget meeting for 5 p.m. Monday, July 29 at the council meeting room.

• Discussed the city council having a float in the Muskie Days parade. Thompson will get an application for the city to be in the parade and council member Teresa Leshovsky will work on the float. It was suggested the city flag be part of the float.

• Discussed having a city flag flying at Muskie Park. No action was taken.

• Approved a resolution relating to the 1980 vacation of the 20-foot alley located in Miller's subdivision of outlot number one.

• Heard someone from the fire department will be available to answer questions about the revised bylaws at next month's meeting.

• Recognized city administrator Dawn Veit for all the work she has done to get the city hall office and meeting room back in order following sewer backup and water damage.

The next regular council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday, July 8.

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