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Lake Shore: Council lowers Jacobs Road speed limit

After previous inquiries about the speed on Jacobs Road, the Lake Shore City Council lowered it to 35 mph at its Monday, Nov. 27, council meeting.

Jacobs Road previously had an unposted speed limit of 55 mph, but council member Wayne Anderson asked about lowering it at the last meeting. The council sent the item to the roads committee, which was unanimously in favor of reducing the speed. Anderson said Loon Lake Township residents are in favor as well.

Mark Hallan, of Widseth Smith Nolting, presented a comprehensive street condition survey that the engineering firm did in October. The goal of the survey was to review the conditions of city streets and to help the city develop a long-term road improvement plan.

In the study - completed by Dave Reese and Timothy Schoonhoven of WSN - they found that Lake Shore has 19.4 miles of paved city roads. Of those roads, about two-thirds are classified as nearly new or needing minor overlay. The remaining one-third are reclaimed or reconstructed roads that need major improvements.

The cost to improve all 19.4 miles of paved roads, Hallan said, is about $2.7 million. Though two-thirds of the roads don't need major work done, Hallan said they still need to be maintained.

"You have about six and two-thirds miles of roads that are in very good condition, but you need to maintain those roads so you can crack seal them every year," Hallan said, explaining that a few roads should be crack sealed each year.

Of the $2.7 million cost, about $746,000 would go toward maintaining the roads that are in good condition. Hallan said if the updates on the roads needing minor overlay are put off another 5-10 years, the cost would increase significantly.

The rest of the total cost - roughly $1.95 million - would go toward improving the 6.4 miles of road that are in the worst condition.

Hallan told the council it can either adopt a plan where it uses existing funds to do small projects each year over several years, or it can issue bonds to pay for larger projects on a less frequent basis, like every 3-5 years.

Mayor Kevin Egan said the decision will fall on the roads committee to decide what kind of plan to develop.

Power lines

After several residents on County State Aid Highway 77 asked about burying power lines to reduce power outages during storms, Egan said he asked Minnesota Power about it. Minnesota Power, however, will not pay to bury the power lines but will bury them if residents on CSAH 77 pay for it.

Egan said it would cost about $7,000 per family to put a trunk line in, and then each household would also have to pay to run a line to their property.

As the process is so expensive, the council agreed there was nothing more it could do.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Vacated a portion of Roland Street, as asked for in a petition from resident Gregory Klosner. The council held a public hearing about the matter Monday and approved the vacation, subject to the city's approval of a legal description.

• Learned police had 131 incidents in October, including 74 traffic-related incidents and 57 miscellaneous calls. Activity included 58 traffic warnings, 10 traffic citations and one DWI arrest.

• Heard from Egan that the city is working to create a broadband committee, which will begin working after the holidays to get broadband in the area.

• Heard from Egan that many people along CSAH 77 asked about replanting trees that have been taken out along the road for Trail 77. Egan said he would like to see some trees replanted, but there is a clear zone, and trees can't be in the way of walkers and bikers.

• Re-established Lake Shore City Hall as the city's official 2018 polling place.