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SE Council hears Hwy.14/Co. Rd. 10 safety evaluation

To Sleepy Eye City Council

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Brown County Commissioner Brian Braun presented a safety evaluation of the Highway 14-CR 10 intersection Tuesday. The intersection is pictured above, looking eastbound on Highway 14.

SLEEPY EYE — Brown County Commissioner Brian Braun presented the Sleepy Eye City Council with a safety evaluation of the U.S. Highway 14-County Road 10 intersection Tuesday.

Braun said with help from Brown County Highway Engineer Wayne Stevens, he got a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) report on the intersection a couple miles east of Sleepy Eye.

With only one crash occurring in the last three and a half years, the intersection is performing well. No further improvement are warranted, but the intersection’s dramatically reduce crash rate of 0.48 will be monitored, according to MnDOT.

“Over the past ten and a half years, there were eight crashes, one fatal, one serious injury, four minor injuries, one possible injury and one property damage only crash at the intersection over the last ten and a half years,” Braun said.

The five-year (2018-2022) crash performance of the intersection showed a 1.43 total crash rate index and 1.21 fatal and serious injury crash rate, which indicated it has a higher crash rate than comparable intersections in the state.

In 2021, MnDOT completed a district wide safety project that included safety enhancements including in-lane rumble strips, “stop ahead” pavement messages, stop bars, enhanced signing and intersection lighting.

Since the project was completion, there has been only one crash at the intersection. It involved an 80-year-old driver who failed to yield at the stop sign. The May 16 crash resulted in minor injuries, according to MnDOT.

In other news, Braun said the Brown County Highway Department expects to receive a new all-electric pickup truck in July.

“Brown County’s cost share for the new electric pickup was $14,285 with a charger. We couldn’t afford not to try it. We felt this was a great opportunity to see how it works in the winter. We’ll see what it can do and can’t do,” he added.

Joann Schmidt asked Braun if the county could compare mileage and costs of using a gas vehicle and an electric vehicle.

“I don’t know the answer to that. I think that’s a good idea. I’ll mention that to the Brown County Highway Engineer. I’d like to know the answer myself,” Braun said.

A 2023 City of Sleepy Eye audit report including the public utilities commission and municipal hospital, by Sara Oberloh of Oberloh & Oberloh, Ltd. of Redwood Falls was approved, after a motion by Councilor Scott Krzmarzick, seconded by Doug Pelzel.

She said the total net worth of the city is $66,588,000. It has about $40,000 invested in long-term assets like buildings, equipment and infrastructure plus available resources of $26,275,696 to meet future obligations.

Oberloh said the City’s total debt decreased by $1,224,725 or 7.1% during the current fiscal year. The unassigned general fund balance was $3,355,892, 95.7% of total general fund expenditures.

“It’s very good and really important that the city has strong forward balances and reserves,” said Oberloh.

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