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Burma-Shave signs will stay

The signs in Fifty Lakes asking the public to protect the health of area lakes with a Burma-Shave-style rhyme can stay put for another three years, according to meeting minutes from a Nov. 12 Fifty Lakes City Council meeting.

On that night the council overturned a planning commission decision not to renew the interim use permit the Fifty Lakes Property Owners Association (FLPOA) had used to install the signs.

According to minutes from the planning commission meeting on Oct. 1, the request to renew the permit at the planning commission level was defeated by a 3-2 vote.

The planning commission meeting minutes show that commission member Don Reierson said that having the signs on County Road 1 for three years and County Road 136 for two years is enough. He said the signs have lost their effectiveness, they’re visually polluting and he couldn’t support them staying in the same location any longer.

Minutes also say the commission and FLPOA discussed moving the signs or switching them, but the FLPOA said they wouldn’t do that, citing the amount of time put into the signs and the labor that would be required to change or move them.

When the matter was brought to the council Nov. 12, minutes show that council member Les Degner had talked to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and found that the DNR was pleased with the signs and was funding a similar project in Otter Tail County.

The council’s vote to allow the signs for up to three years passed on a 3-1 vote, with council member Jay Weinmann voting against. Council member Greg Buchite was absent from the meeting.

In other business Nov. 12, minutes show the council:

• Met in closed session to discuss a personnel matter regarding bar employee Jake Stern. When the meeting reopened, Stern was moved from full-time employee to part-time employee without benefits. Minutes do not state specifically why the change was made.

• Hired Arianne Sizenbach as a permanent part-time employee at the bar and bottle shop.

• Heard the city received 255 responses to the emergency sirens survey on the city’s website so far. The survey shows that 64 percent of those who took the survey are in support of installing five new emergency alert sirens, while 35 percent are opposed.