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Brown Co. Board reviews Center, Garden Street intersection study

Options include roundabout, pedestrian underpass

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners will review and comment on a Center and Garden Street intersection study at about 10:20 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17.

The City of New Ulm hired the Bolton & Menk engineering firm to do a study on the intersection said to be very congested during certain times of the day with an above normal number of crashes reported. Several alternatives were investigated to improve intersection safety.

Existing conditions will be reviewed, alternatives will be analyzed, public input will be received and recommendations made including a pedestrian underpass.

The intersection was identified by the City of New Ulm Safety Commission, Heart of New Ulm and Safe Routes to School Team as a safety priority due to proximity to multiple schools, pedestrian and bicycle activity.

No signal warrants are med but an all-way stop is warranted, according to intersection study warrant analysis. This option is not supported by City or County staff, but was added at the request of Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) staff.

A roundabout was considered at a cost $2.5 million in 2025 dollars. Mini-roundabout and signal costs are estimated at $1.8 million. An all-way stop is estimated to cost $940,000.

A city social media public input summary showed three comments with steep grade and roundabout concerns. Two comments supported a roundabout. One comment opposed all options shown.

One comment suggested a tunnel, estimated to cost $1.3 million, creates better pedestrian crossing.

A roundabout, said to reduce crashes by 72%, is the recommended concept.

Commissioners will also consider:

• A Cannabis Ordinance public hearing at 9:05 a.m. A county ordinance is considered in Brown County’s best interest to allow measures of control and oversight that are more specific than the State statute regarding where recreational marijuana may be used.

The agenda calls for Brown County Cannabis Ordinance adoption. Administration met with the sheriff and attorney offices and developed a draft ordinance for consideration.

• An Opioid Settlement Funding Grant Application authorizing the sheriff’s office to apply for a grant through Brown County for mental health services for Brown County Jail inmates.

• Purchasing body cameras and mobile video/squad cameras for patrol and jail. Quotes are $338,038.10 from Axon and $284,592.55 from Motorola. The sheriff’s office recommends Motorola with $47,271.60 for the jail, in which a $30,000 grant has been applied for. The remainder can be managed within the jail budget.

Funding applied to the patrol would be $100,000 that can be managed within the budget and use State of Minnesota Public Safety Funds for the remainder.

The board meeting begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 in the courthouse commissioner’s room.

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