Park Owner Offers to Pay for Traffic Signs
Campground owner Steve Kiesler was willing to help pay for highway safety signs in front of his campground on Highway 14 near Waseca, Minn. But in the end, government told him, “Thanks but no thanks.”
“For 37 years we’ve been trying to improve the area,” said Kiesler.
Every weekend there are close calls at the highway entrance and crossing to Kiesler’s, he said, caused by traffic volume, high speeds and inattentive drivers, according to the Waseca County News.
The proposal before the city council on Tuesday (April 21) was to split the cost of two signs three ways: the city, Waseca County and Kiesler’s Campgrounds.
“We are willing to pay a third to show our commitment to improving public safety,” said Kiesler, whose campground is located in the southern part of the state.
However, council member Al Rose said the cost should be split 50-50 between the city and county because “public safety is a government job.”
Mike Hintz, Waseca County commissioner, said he took it upon himself to make some contacts and get costs for the two speed signs, estimated to cost $6,000.
Earlier in the day, the county commissioners had agreed to a three-way split with the city, county and Kiesler’s paying $3,500 each, to buffer the estimated $9,000 cost of the two signs plus installation.
Hintz said he commends Kiesler for his dedication to get the signs installed.
Minnesota Department of Transportation has offered to paint “crossing” in the roadway and place LED lights around it, according to Kiesler. The state will also post 40 mph signs east of the campground and hook up the signs to electricity.
Council member Cindy Coy said if Kiesler wants to pay one-third, the city should be gracious and accept it as a gift.
“I want to say ‘thank-you,’” she said.
However, a motion to pay one-third of the project was defeated by a 5-1 vote.
A motion to pay one-half of the cost was unanimously approved.
Kiesler said he is “very grateful” for the city’s contribution to the speed signs that should be installed in May.