Moorhead City Council Meeting

Moorhead City Council Meeting

Committee of the Whole

March 16 2015

Chuck Chadwick

*At Committee of the Whole Meetings, Council Members discusses City business or other matters of interest as determined by the Council. No official action is taken at Committee of the Whole meetings.

Fargo parking at the Moorhead Center Mall

The City Council discussed the City of Fargo’s request to operate a shuttle between the Center Mall and downtown Fargo and to use public parking lots for the service at the Moorhead Center Mall. Council Members Steve Gehrtz and Nancy Otto will serve on the task force to study the proposal. Mayor Williams said that she would not be surprised if Fargo changed their project to include parking in Fargo as Fargo City Commissioner Piepkorn has voiced opposition to the plan.

City motorists exceeding the speed limits

Bob Zimmerman, Moorhead City Engineer presented the traffic calming policy. The purpose of this policy is to establish criteria and procedures the City will use to evaluate requests to implement traffic calming measures. Zimmerman clarified when consideration of traffic measures is appropriate and how such improvements would be approved and financed. The policy provides for substantial property owner participation in the development of proposed improvements.

The City receives frequent requests from neighborhoods to reduce speed limits or to install stop signs in order to slow down traffic in their residential areas. However, State Statute limits the City’s authority to comply with those requests establishing speed limits within the City, as the installation of stop signs must comply with the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The manual lists the purpose of a stop sign to control the right-of-way at intersection and not as a speed control device. In addition, in many cases simply posting a reduced speed limit sign does not necessarily solve the speeding problem.

The City’s website has links to two short informational videos on speed limits and stop signs (see: Helpful Links http://www.cityofmoorhead.com/departments/engineering/street-traffic-control-signs.)

Zimmerman also briefed the Council on the feasibility of train horn quiet zones along 20th Street and SE Main Avenue. The two proposed quiet zones that would affect nine crossings are in addition to the existing quiet zones in downtown.

On January 27, 2014, the City Council approved an Engineering Services Agreement with KLJ to prepare a detailed evaluation of the feasibility and an implementation strategy of the quiet zones. Zimmerman said that the quiet zones will require close coordination with BNSF and the Otter Tail Valley Railroads as well as MnDOT and the Federal Railroad Administration. Zimmerman urged patience with the process, which includes detailed rules, regulations, and requirements to be granted quiet zones. The funding source is also questionable as there are no state funds available for the projects.

However, Governor Dayton has proposed state funding for the $43 million underpass at Main Avenue and 20th/21 Street financed with an increase in gas taxes of 16 cents more per gallon and a new tax on railroad property. The funding is included in his $6 billion transportation plan. The railroad industry is strongly opposed to the new tax and they maintain that Minnesota lacks the legal authority to impose the tax, and The Americans for Prosperity – Minnesota is circulating a petition in opposition to the proposed gas tax.

Spring Public Works service update

Attention Moorhead Residents

The following is a summary of Spring Public Works service start dates: (PLEASE DISREGARD THE DATES PUBLISHED IN CITY INSIGHTS. DUE TO WARMER WEATHER, WE MOVED UP YARD WASTE AND COMPOST SERVICE START DATES)

March 18, 2015 – Yard waste drop-off sites available. Roll-off containers will be placed at our recycling drop-off sites for yard waste. This includes the yard waste drop-off location in the former Oakport area located on 58 Avenue North. Please remember: We DO NOT accept trees or branches at these sites. You must take your branches directly to the compost site, or place them on the boulevard at your home for curbside pick-up.

April 13, 2015 – Weekly Curbside Yard Waste Pick-up Service. Yard waste (leaves, grass clippings and garden/flowerbed waste) will be picked up on your regularly scheduled garbage day. Yard waste must be placed in clear lawn bags or in garbage cans up to 32 gallons in size not to exceed 30 pounds.

April 13, 2015 – City of Moorhead Compost Site Opens. The Compost Site will open for business Monday – Friday (8:00 am – 4:15 pm) and Saturday (8:00 am – 11:45 am). The Compost site is located at 1800 Hwy 75 North, Moorhead, MN.

May 1, 2015 – Weekly Curbside Branch Chipping and Pick-up Service. Branches will be picked up on your regularly scheduled garbage day. Please note branches are picked up by a Forestry crew, so they may be picked up at a different time than your garbage. Also remember branches and logs may not exceed 8 inches in diameter and the total volume of the pile cannot exceed 4 ft high x 8 ft wide x 12 ft long.

Please check the City of Moorhead Public Works Web page for additional details on these services and check Facebook and Twitter for future service updates.

Moorhead Friends of the

Library Book Sale March 27 & 28

The Friends of the Moorhead Library will host a Used Book Sale in the lower level of the Moorhead Public Library, 118 5th St. S, on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Hundreds of materials will be available for purchase including many adult fiction and nonfiction books, periodicals, and more.

Items may be purchased by marked price on Friday, and customers may fill a bag with items for 5 dollars on Saturday.

All items were donated by community members. Proceeds of the sale will be used to support the Moorhead Public Library.

For more information please call 218-233-7594 or visit the library at 118 5th St. S. Event information is also available online at www.larl.org. The Moorhead Public Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library.

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