Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Traffic leaves commissioners at a crossroads

Traffic control was one of the key talking points in the Dawson County Commissioners meeting on July 1 and a special meeting a week later.

With a bridge on Highway 21 in Lexington closed for repair, intersections at roads 751 and 752 and road 419 are seeing increased traffic and commissioners are concerned about the safety of motorists.

Commissioner P.J. Jacobson of Cozad led the charge for implementing some form of traffic control device, preferably stop signs, without the state’s approval. He had the support of Gothenburg’s Dean Kugler, but Dennis Rickertsen and Bill Stewart, both of Lexington, did not feel as strongly.

For stop signs or a similar device to be used, the state requires an engineering study among other measures.

A recent traffic study said that 277 drivers passed through the blind intersections in a span of 23 hours.

Following the advice of Deputy County Attorney Kate Gatewood, the commissioners ruled to hold off on adding stop signs or other measures but did decide to go forward with an engineering study as soon as possible to expedite the process.

At a special meeting on July 8, the three commissioners present, Rickertsen, Jacobson and Hagan, voted to approve the installation of stop signs at the previously mentioned intersections after discussion with an insurance company and the department of roads.

Once Highway 21 opens, the board will resume plans for an engineering study to determine whether the markings should stay as is, be changed or be removed completely.

In other action, the commissioners approved Southside Irrigation’s petition to become an irrigation district. They also approved Danbury resident Kristyl Hanchera’s application to manage the Lakeshore Marina Bar and Grille at Johnson lake.

With only four members in attendance on July 1, the commissioners elected to hold off discussion on a plan to resurface Darr Bridge Road until commissioner Butch Hagan could give his opinion.

On another matter, Crystal Werger was introduced as the new Dawson County museum director. Additionally, the museum requested a budget of $60,000 for the 2014-15 year.

In other business, John Grinde of Cozad was sworn in as a new Dawson County Veteran’s board member by County Judge Jeff Wightman.

An inspection of the county jail followed the meeting.

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