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Speed it up, Davison County Commissioners told

Two Mitchell residents have expressed concern over slow speed limits on county roads northeast of town.

Larry Johnson and Paul Parr told the Davison County commissioners Tuesday the 40 mph speed limit on 250th, 251st streets and North Foster should be changed to 55 mph.

“It’s a speed trap,” Parr said at the meeting, held at the courthouse in Mitchell. “I don’t know why there are city speed limits out in the country.”

Because the item was brought during public input, the commissioners took no action but said they would have Highway Superintendent Rusty Weinberg look into the matter.

Going north out of Mitchell on North Foster Street, it’s about 2.5 miles to where the road ends at 250th Street, which is the road to the Mitchell Municipal Airport and the Army National Guard complex. Foster Street in the city has a 25 mph limit and starts a 40 mph speed limit north of Shanard Road near Mebius Nursery.

“It’s a pain that it’s that slow,” said Parr, who lives on Foster. “I’ve talked to some other neighbors and they think it’s too slow.”

The speed limit on 250th and 251st streets east of Highway 37 is 40 mph for at least a mile. Johnson lives on 250th Street.

“I guess if you could take some time in your travels, go and check it out,” Johnson said. “It’s like snail’s speed out there.”

Weinberg said the normal speed limit on county roads in Davison County is 55 mph. He said the speed limits on Foster and 251st Street were set in 1996, and the speed on 250th was set in 2009.

“Those were done for safety purposes for housing and kids,” Weinberg said. “They could make a resolution to change it back. If enough public got together and wanted to change it, they could do that. There are a lot of families up there, and that’s why they chose to lower the speed limit when they did. But if they want to change it back, that’s up to the commissioners.”

New hire

Nathan Wegner, a Brandon native, was hired as the county’s new deputy director of planning and zoning and emergency management.

After two executive sessions Tuesday that both dealt with the matter, the commissioners approved Wegner’s hire at $36,000 a year with a review at six months for a possible salary increase. He starts his position Jan. 6.

“He’s done an internship with the city of Harrisburg and he’s worked with the city of Crystal, Minnesota,” Planning and Zoning Administrator/Emergency Management Director Jeff Bathke said. “He’s very knowledgeable in planning and zoning, knows everything about building permits, variances, conditional-uses, flood plains and zoning. The emergency management side, not as much, but it’s way easier to teach that side of it than the other side.”

Wegner has a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato in urban and region studies. Bathke said Wegner is in the process of obtaining his master’s in urban planning.

The commissioners went into executive session early in the meeting, and had to continue personnel discussions for job negotiations later after Bathke offered Wegner the position.

Other business

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

  • Approved a resolution to change the holiday schedule for Davison County, now recognizing New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Native Americans Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas as holidays; and allowing no work for any day that the governor, president or county commission declare as a holiday.
  • Approved a motion to authorize the county jail to find an architect for a project to renovate or replace 10 showers so the project can go to bid.
  • Heard from Betty Ellis, of 604 West 13th Ave., of Mitchell, about a plan to pay her delinquent property taxes.