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Perham moves ahead with 'immediate fix' for Pinewood Lane, leaves door open for more

After gathering some community feedback, the Perham City Council made changes to Perham's 2022 street construction plans at a meeting Jan. 10 and decided to pursue a plan that is less costly than others while still leaving the door open to further improvements in the future.

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The City Council is pursuing Option Three of the 2022 Pinewood Lane reconstruction. (Contributed / Perham Focus)
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After gathering some community feedback, the Perham City Council made changes to Perham's 2022 street construction plans at a meeting Jan. 10 and decided to pursue a plan that is less costly than others while still leaving the door open to further improvements in the future.

The first option proposed involved street and drainage improvements to Pinewood Lane from County Highway 51 to Wasche Corner. It also would have included a new urban section roadway and improved private driveways and connections, all at an estimated cost of $1,175,000.

After discussions with Pinewood Lane residents, a second option was proposed. This option would have included street improvements to Pinewood Lane from County Highway 51 to Pine Lane Drive, Pine Lane Drive to Pinewood Lane and Pinewood Lane to the Pro-Ag Property. The project would require a new right-of-way and improvements to accesses, and would result in vacating Pinewood Lane. It would also include street and drainage improvements, a new urban section roadway and improved private driveways and connections, all at a probable cost of $1,493,000.

"In discussions with some of the property owners, there are some plans for future growth, and they were looking at ways to maximize that ability," said City Manager Jonathan Smith. "By vacating Pinewood Lane — option two — they would be able to do that. However, they are not far enough along with their plans and property acquisition to make this option appealing for the best interest of all."

The city also discussed a third, less expensive option: street and surface improvements to Pinewood Lane from County Highway 51 to about 500 feet north. This option would address urgent repairs on Pinewood Lane and wouldn't impact either of the other two options proposed. It includes a storm sewer outlet to Pine Cone Drive, all at an estimated cost of $425,000.

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Option Three of the 2022 Pinewood Lane reconstruction. (Contributed / Perham Focus)

A fourth and final option is to do nothing, but that would result in additional future maintenance.

In the end, the City Council decided to pursue the third option, giving staff a direction to go in for planning purposes. There's a chance other options could come into play in the future.

"Option Three solves some of the major issues we have had over in that area, however it does not fix them all," Smith said. "This will be an immediate fix for that area without potentially committing to the entire idea of what the future of that area looks like."

Also at the meeting, the council:

  • Approved a lease agreement between the City and the Boys and Girls Club and Empowering Kids, which are now occupying The Hub (in the old high school building).
  • Agreed to a collaboration between the DNR and contractors to thin pine trees in Arvig Park to promote separation and healthier tree growth. Smith said precautions will be made to protect the grounds as much as possible.
  • Approved the retirement of Dan Schroeder as president of the Chamber of Commerce. Schroeder's presidential duties will now be split between new Chamber Executive Director Nick Murdock and the city council.
Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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