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New sign site

By Staff | May 22, 2016

After a lengthy discussion, the Blue Earth City Council decided on a new location for a proposed ‘Welcome to Blue Earth’ sign.

The city had been looking at a piece of property owned by the county, located about a mile north of Blue Earth. It is at the intersection of Highway 169 and County Road 6.

Several councilmen thought the site was too far north.

“I really think we should look at a spot between I-90 and the first roundabout,” councilman Glenn Gaylord said. “Otherwise we miss so many people who come off of I-90 and would never see the sign.”

Some of the suggestions were near the Ag Star sign, or the city’s liquor store property, but in the end the council decided to put it right by the roundabout, near the Dairy Queen.

There currently is a Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce sign at the location, but city administrator Tim Ibisch said the chamber was willing to move their sign if need be.

“I just don’t know if a sign as large as we have been looking at will fit there,” Ibisch said. “It might have to be smaller.”

Councilman John Huisman made the motion for the new site, with the addition that the sign be as large as possible for the location.

Councilman Dan Warner suggested having four signs, one at the north, south, east and west entrances to the city.

“I don’t think signs are really needed on the east and west, coming in on Highway 16,” said councilman Russ Erichsrud. “That is usually just local traffic. But it makes sense to have one on the south.”

Gaylord agreed, saying that having a sign on the south side was important.

After more discussion, the council decided to have a smaller version of the sign on the south entrance to the city, and voted to place it along Highway 169 at the intersection with 21st Street.

“That property is owned by the school district,” Ibisch pointed out. “I can check with them and see if that is a possibility.”

The other major item on the agenda at the council’s regular meeting last Monday was a request for a conditional use permit (CUP).

Yankton Anderson had requested the CUP for putting a seed distribution business into the former Southern Jack’s Bar building on Main Street.

“The Planning Commission held a public hearing on this,” Ibisch told the council. “And they recommend approval of the CUP, but with four conditions.”

Those conditions include putting up screening (fencing) along the property line where there are residential neighbors, no outside storage, limiting the time of deliveries and having proper outside lighting.

The council had quite a few questions, however, before they voted on the matter. Some of those had to do with the operation of the business itself.

“These are large plastic tubs or rubber containers, of seeds,” Ibisch said. “They are not in bags.”

There would be about 10 semi-loads delivered each year, he added, with pickup truck and trailers used for delivering the seed containers during the year, mainly in the spring.

There were five residents of the neighborhood area at the public hearing, Ibisch said, and some asked questions and were satisfied with the answers.

The council agreed that it was always a good thing to have empty buildings filled with businesses and voted to approve the CUP.