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Council work session to focus on landfill, one-way streets and more

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – The Mason City Council will be discussing the City’s agreement with the North Iowa Landfill tonight.

The discussion will seemingly be centered on the City’s 28E agreement with the landfill, which governs all 29 included communities that the landfill serves.

“It’s payback time,” one political insider told NIT.  “They want to protect their power over the landfill, especially after the embarrassment of the CES rejection.”  City Administrator Brent Trout did not immediately return an email asking about the meeting.

North Iowa Landfill Director Bill Rowland said today that he wasn’t invited to the meeting, nor was anyone from the executive committee.

Rowland told NIT that the landfill board has discussed changing the weighted vote that gives Mason City a strong hand in the affairs of the landfill.  Rowland said that the 28E agreement that governs all 29 communities would have to be amended for that to happen.  Each city council or county board would have a vote to approve the new agreement if it is changed.  The final tally of votes from those councils and boards would have to equal 75% of 29, or 22 votes, to pass an amended 28E agreement.

In other business, the council will discuss the future of busy one-ways streets in the city.  Highway 122 and Delaware and Washington Avenues in particular.  The downtown one-ways are figured into the long range plans of the City as possibly changing into two-ways.  The Iowa DOT wants to work with the City on a study to gauge the feasibility of turning the one-way portions of Highway 122 into two-ways.

The council will also discuss a Local Option Sales Tax Renewal Committee.

More details to follow after the meeting.

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Studies of projects where one-ways were restored to two-ways, show without question, accident rates go up, some times as high as 45%.

Two way streets are less pedistrian friendly.

Packing a bunch of semi-trucks downtown into a single lane, is just plain silly (US 65 is a truck route).

And it will be much slower because with two direction traffic, it is harder to sequence the flow using traffic lights.

In the end, people will avoid the Downtown area in droves, taking residential streets as an alterate to getting stuck in traffic.

Such ideas like this come not from traffic engineers, but so-called urban planners, who could care less about traffic engineering, but instead seek social engineering.

It is a waste of money, and a daft idea.

I guess maybe they think all of us who used to drag Federal every Friday and Saturday night for entertainment weren’t such bad kids after all. Now they’re going to give the experience back on the loop.

I live in Cedar Rapids. They rejected a similar proposal. It costs $250,000 to change each stoplight. With all those chnages thye would be spending more than one million dollars. Why? First of all traffic is down 35% on hwy 17(122) since the Aveniue of the Saints went in. Ah the Avenue. Jolas sold the dream but what has my hometown really gotten. Oh we got a huge water tower on the southend for an ethanol plant and a relocated hwy patrol station. Aint that impressive. Save the dollars to fix streets, improve the bike trails, and I may come back home again if I can find a decent job. Miss Mason City as do some of my friends. Just not enough jobs back home.

Sorry if I hurt someones feelings, I didn’t major in grammar. The last sentence should read, and put Federal back through the way it was.

Sounds like they want to spend some more of the tax payers money. Messing with Deleware and Washington will do just that. I wonder whats wrong with the way those streets run now. If they really wanted two way traffic, cut a hole in that money pit, and Federal back through the way it was.

This is a very important meeting to all citizens of MC if there is anything that can be tied to payback time to the LNI. Council be well aware of what you may be voting on.

LNI is going to redo their 28E agreement with the member communities (it was written in 1970) and Tornquist was just providing background to the Council about what the process was going to be and what some of the major issues are. He says he wants to make sure that he represents the wishes of the Council…you know kind of like what Max wanted Clear Lake to do with the CES vote….

Who’s harebrained idea is this? Without those one-ways, downtown would be an absolute C-F. How about this: Bookmeyer and Kuhn get sauced before the meeting and present additional asinine ideas. BOHICA!

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