County approves light at intersection

By a 3-2 vote, the Mille Lacs County Board on Jan. 22 approved the installation of a street light at an intersection in the northern part of the county.

Commissioners had voted to table the request at their Jan. 8 meeting, citing the need for more information.

County engineer Bruce Cochran made the request at that meeting, saying the county would be responsible for maintenance and for paying the electric bill, estimated at about $600 a year.

He also told commissioners he thought it would be a good idea to install the light.

At last week’s  meeting Cochran told commissioners that the Minnesota Department of Transportation would remove the light from their Highway 169 project in that part of the county if the county didn’t approve the street light.

(The intersection is with CSAH 252 (Pine Center Road) at Wigwam Bay. The road runs west into Crow Wing County.)

Commissioner Roger Tellinghuisen asked Cochran at last week’s meeting if he thought a street light or flashing stop sign would be best at the intersection.

Cochran answered that a street light would be seen from all directions, whereas an LED stop sign would be see only from the east.

“What do you prefer?” asked Tellinghuisen.

“I prefer street lights,” Cochran answered, saying they were proven and could be seen from all directions.

Commissioner Tim Wilhelm said he would prefer a flashing stop sign at the intersection.

Commissioner Genny Reynolds made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Dave Oslin, to authorize a street light at the intersection.

Oslin and Reynolds voted for the motion, Wilhelm and Tellinghuisen voted against, and board chair Phil Peterson cast the deciding vote in favor of the motion.