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Road workers get no respect

Spring was in the air at the April 1 town of River Falls board meeting as talk turned to the Annual Meeting, training a new treasurer, snow removal on roads, junk cars and the next newsletter.

Long-time treasurer Caroline Hamilton's term ends this month. The board will train a new treasurer. Rita Kozak and Dianna Weber were on the April 2 election ballot

Hamilton will be honored for her 27 years of service at the 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, Annual Meeting. Cake will be served.

Topics for this year's town newsletter will include a farewell to Hamilton, welcoming the new treasurer, farmland preservation, spring cleanup of roads, cemetery committee news and recycling appliances.

Town Board Chairwoman Diana Smith said removal of junk vehicles from people's property also needs scrutiny. Several properties are targets of regular complaints.

Supervisor Brad Mogen suggested writing a notification postcard to inform residents the law will be enforced, that junk vehicles must be removed.

With winter slowly losing its icy grip, Town Board members were pleased with the town highway department.

Supervisor Tom Sitz, who took some complaints during the last wintry blast March 18, was disgusted by the lack of empathy for highway workers who often plow in the middle of the night to clear roads for the morning commuters.

"I am disappointed with the expectations of people and the lack of respect for the people that do it," Sitz said.

The last storm brought three days of wind, ice and snow at the end of March. Sitz said there were few places left to push snow.

"We have an exceptional team, and they do an exceptional job," Supervisor Siri Smith said.

Board members said every year brings lots of road complaints, but that the town-road workers do their best and residents should be patient.

"Technically, by law, we don't have to have the roads plowed for three weeks after the last snow or some ridiculous number like that," Siri Smith said. "But we have them plowed within hours."

Chairwoman Smith said she took a call concerning high water in a ditch near Steiner Plumbing, N8230 945th St.

Frozen culverts are everywhere, Smith said, and there's not much to do about them except wait for them to thaw this spring.

The board also:

  • Recommended a building permit be approved for Curt and Julie Bruns, W9410 739th Ave. for a new 38-by-62 foot home.
  • Recommended a building permit be approved for Nick and Deb Calmes, W9415 739th Ave. for a new 28-by-76 foot home. A building permit was also issued for a 24-by-36 foot storage shed to be built west of the house.
  • OK'd a building permit for Elwood Elliott, W8493 770th Ave., for an addition and attached garage.
  • Heard that Duane Johnson bought the cropland at the Glen Leighty land auction for $5,400 an acre.