Put10th Street first for road work?

Published on Thu, Jun 17, 2004
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Put 10th Street first for road work?

After continued public urging to make the reconstruction of 10th Street a higher priority, Blaine city council members indicated they would be considering shuffling the rankings on the city’s six-year transportation plan. Mayor Dieter Schugt closed the public hearing on the plan June 14 and said council would deliberate and decide on any potential changes to the plan at their June 28 meeting.

“I’ve tried to keep the rankings in the order they were approved in the levy, absent further direction from council,” said public works director Steve Banham. The reconstruction of Cherry and 10th streets, ranked third and fourth respectively on the city’s list of road priorities from 2005 to 2010, would be paid for with funds from the 1994 voter-approved residential street levy, which expires at the end of this year. With Cherry Street coming first in 2005, 10th Street resident Suzanne Magnusson said they were worried the dollars wouldn’t stretch to them. “Steve Banham told me earlier the money could run out. That’s our concern,” she said. “It is very close,” Banham acknowledged.
Neighbor William Bailey joined Magnusson urging council to fix 10th before Cherry. “It has no ditches and no sidewalks. It all drains towards the school and it’s not a safe traveling environment with water standing on the road for long periods of time,” he said. “When the weather’s nice it’s O.K. but it’s not nice very often in Blaine.”

Several council members indicated they would like to see 10th Street made a higher priority than Cherry Street. “My tendency is to switch the two. I do view 10th as being in more severe shape, and a lot of children walk on that street to school” said Bonnie Onyon. “It seems to be the worst street in town,” agreed Bruce Wolf.

Council member Mike Myers said Cherry Street residents should be allowed to have their say. “I am the people on Cherry,” said fellow council member and Cherry Street homeowner Ken Ely. “We do have a lot of children on Cherry Street also but they don’t have to swim to school if it rains. On the merits of the street, 10th should be replaced first.”

The top two priorities on the transportation plan are the reconstruction of Marine Drive and environmental review and design for a new interchange at exit 276, both of which have state and federal funding.