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Council votes 4-1 to approve Morningside agreement

By Rich Glennie
In an about-face, the Glencoe City Council Monday night authorized Mayor Randy Wilson and City Administrator Mark Larson to sign a cooperative agreement with McLeod County to proceed with plans to extend Morningside Avenue north of 11th Street near Coborn’s to 16th Street near the high school.
The move came after the City Council originally voted 3-1 to not approve the agreement with the county in December. But in January, after a meeting with County Highway Engineer John Brunkhorst and John Rodeberg of Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), Inc., the city’s engineering consultant, the Council recommended proceeding with the project.
The feedback from the group at the January meeting “was that the project is a key corridor that addresses current safety issues (along Union Avenue) as well as an opportunity to foster future development by linking the north and south sides of U.S. Highway 212.”
Also recommending approval of the joint agreement were the city’s planning commission and the chamber’s Economic Development Commission. The project is scheduled for 2019.
So what changed?
Council Member Milan Alexander, who originally voted no to the project, said he has since learned a lot more about the project “and that swayed me.”
Alexander said there was not a lot of information available when the City Council voted in December.
He said he learned a lot more about the “turn-back numbers” that involved state funds received and already spent on the Morningside extension project. He said state Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, and state Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, “worked hard to get this (state money) for us.” He said he also heard from local business people about the need for the Morningside project.
He said he learned all the facts about “how good a deal we’re getting.”
For more about the Morningside agreement, see the Feb. 7 print edition of The Chronicle.