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Council approves first roundabout

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The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to have engineering consultant SEH start plans for a roundabout (circular intersection) where Cemetery Road and Wasson and Knollwood Lanes intersect.

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City Engineer Reid Wronski fielded questions and presented a detailed proposal summarizing the benefits of a roundabout: Safety, pedestrian friendly, economical, low maintenance and equipped to handle the volume generated by nearby schools, businesses and development.

The city's 2006 capital improvements budget includes the major roadway project that Wronski said had been "put off" a long time.

He explained that a traditional intersection generates more injury crashes than his proposed design due to high speed, traffic signals and more potential points of contact.

A roundabout slows traffic with its circular shape, has no signal and fewer points of contact, and costs about $50,000 less than a traditional intersection.

Wronski stressed that River Falls' roundabout would be a one-lane design, unlike the new one at Hanley Road/Hwy. 35N near Hudson. Wronski said negative feedback from the Hanley Road roundabout is that the confusing design is hard to follow.

Other council news

Town of Oak Grove resident Jim Gumbusky talked to council during public comment about signing a resolution to make Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) "comply with its mission."

Gumbusky's unhappy about the school's tax levy and went to the town hall meeting CVTC held last week.

The resolution requests that CVTC not offer a two-year science degree and not function as a community college; it also asks the city to send signed copies to local schools, colleges and elected officials.

Gumbusky cited some half a dozen Pierce County towns that have already signed.

Mayor Don Richards began to speak about his experience at CVTC's town hall meeting, but City Attorney William Thiel suggested that the resolution issue be put on a future agenda for discussion.

Gumbusky said, "We need to draw the line in the sand here."

Tuesday night the council also:

  • Agreed to install a severe-weather siren on the east side in the Highview Meadows subdivision near County Road M and Liberty Road.

  • Agreed to add registration deputies at governor and presidential elections.

    Council member Carol Robinson gave people a number to call and give their views about the Wisconsin Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR): 1-800-362-9472.

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