The Storm Lake City Council acted this week to approve new stop signs for the uncontrolled intersection of Vista Drive and West 6th Street, the main entrance area for the new Storm Lake Elementary School.
The intersection has been uncontrolled, and is becoming dangerous in the mornings and afternoons as high volumes of traffic flow off 5th and 6th streets. Stop signs have been requested to contol east and west traffic on Sixth Street at the Vista Drive intersection, by both the school district and the local Trafiic Safety Team.
Due to the safety concerns, the council took the unusual step of passing the measure on first reading, waiving a second reading and passing on third and final reading at the same meeting, to get the signs up qucikly.
Council member Julie Egland asked if the situation could lead to long wait times at the stop signs. Public Safety Director Mark Prosser noted that this is possible during about 20 minute periods just before and after school, but that there is an alternate turnoff drivers can take.
City crews have also done some curb painting and school crossing markings to help out in the area, and the school has tried using a staggered dismissal team on an early dismissal day, which eases some of the congestion concerns.
Also this week, the council approved plans for a new Oktoberfest event being held by Storm Lake United on September 19 dowtown. The event involved Lake Avenue Lounge and Smokey's, with outdoor adult beverage garden and a separated smoking area. Council member David Walker questioned a representative of the retail team, asking if any thought had been given to holding an even that would promote the entire downtown business dstrict rather than two businesses through a beer garden. Event spokesperson Mike Dierks said it is hoped the event will add to the Fall Festival and Thanks With Franks programs to create a weekend of activity. The council approved the necessary permits, 5-0.
Finally, the council approved the infrastructure of the new Friesen's First Addition project, including a new street named Evergreen Avenue, and extensions of East 7th and 8th streets to Geisinger Road. Councilperson Egland asked if there was any discussion on paving of Geisinger, and city officials noted that the section of road along the city limits is currently maintained by the county government under a cooperative agreement.
City officials praised the local housing development, and noted that the local developer has some interest in possibly considering a Friesen's Second Addition in the future.
"I hope so," said Mayor Jon Kruse.