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Commission hears left-turn concerns, tables disaster plan

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Commission hears left-turn concerns, tables disaster plan
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Dickinson and other area residents who drive in the city frequently know which intersections can be troublesome and should be avoided.

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But visitors may not know the shortest route is not always the quickest, which is why resident Keith Anton addressed the Dickinson City Commission on Monday evening.

Speaking specifically about making a left turn onto Villard Street from 10th Avenue East, Anton asked that the commission consider a traffic signal to help vehicles travel safely at the regular commission meeting at City Hall.

“I do not know if there has been any accidents at this area, but I have seen close calls,” Anton said.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation is aware of the issues at Villard Street and have considered a roundabout for the three-way intersection, City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.

“It may include a solution that may be a little out of the box, at least for western North Dakota,” Kessel said.

Anton also asked for signage along Interstate 94 to warn eastbound drivers that, contrary to what maps or GPS says, the best way to travel north on Highway 22 from Dickinson would be to take Exit 59 and not Exit 61, where cars can get hung up trying to turn left.

“I have seen many vehicles waiting to make the turn to go north and the flow of traffic would be better at the Exit 59 location,” Anton said.

Crews have been working all summer to pave 30th Avenue North and will continue next year, creating the interim bypass, Commission President Dennis Johnson said.

“Once the construction is finished, there that will be a very good alternative,” Johnson said. “There’s no question about it. That’s a bottleneck — it was never designed for kind of traffic that we’re experiencing.”

In other business: 

* The commission voted to table the passage of the Multi-County/Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan required by FEMA to qualify for grants to fund projects that would lessen the blow of natural disasters.

Gene Buresh, who is in charge of community development for the Roosevelt Custer Regional Council, presented a 378-page plan that covers Billings, Dunn, Golden Valley and Stark counties in case of a natural disaster.

“The difference with this plan and disaster relief is that in order to qualify for mitigation grant funding through FEMA for projects to lessen the effects of these hazards, you have to have an approved plan and you have to have adopted an approved plan,” Buresh said.

The commission tabled the item until its next meeting to give city staff a chance to read through the plan. The plan needs to be approved before 2014.

* The commission unanimously approved the liquor license transfer for Frontier Liquors from its previous location in south Dickinson to its new location in west Dickinson in the same building as Pizza Hut. 

* The commission resolved to declare Monday “Gene Gendreau Day” in memory of the former long-term city commissioner who recently passed away. Gendreau was a champion of the West River Community Center and of a sales tax which saved the city from bankruptcy. 

* The commission unanimously passed the first reading of the construction standards ordinance, which outlines construction standards within the city.

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Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
(701) 456-1206
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