of July fireworks still on

Posted 4/14/21

Senior banners approved, concerns on Military Road closure heard So far, Cottage Grove’s Fourth of July fireworks are a go. That was the message at last Wednesday night’s City Council meeting …

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of July fireworks still on


Senior banners approved, concerns on Military Road closure heard

So far, Cottage Grove’s Fourth of July fireworks are a go.

That was the message at last Wednesday night’s City Council meeting from Mayor Myron Bailey.

Bailey said the Cottage Grove Lions Club has stepped forward to be the event sponsor.

“One of the events that we’re looking at possibly being able to have this year is the Fourth of July Fireworks at Kingston,” said Bailey. “We’re watching and monitoring what’s going on from the state and federal standpoint.

“At this point, our plan is to move forward with the Fourth of July fireworks. I wanted to let the public know that. We’re working with Public Safety to make sure it’s done in a safe manner.”

Bailey said several local companies provided funding for the event last year, but it had to be cancelled because off the COVID19 pandemic.

“We did have some people that did step in, and then we cancelled them. All but one asked us to hold the money and use it for the future,” said Bailey. “I thank the Cottage Grove Lions Club for agreeing to do this. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that we can get our first true city event held and kind of move forward from COVID.”

Senior Banners

Bailey also got approval from the council to oversee a project dedicated to Cottage Grove high school seniors. Like last year, the city plans to put


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banners on thoroughfares congratulating the Class of 2021 at Park and East Ridge High Schools.

“This is in celebration of our seniors who are going to be graduating,” he said.

Last year, many communities mobilized in similar fashion to recognize seniors, who weren’t allowed to go out with the same level of “Pomp and Circumstance” as other years, because of COVID-19 forcing school shutdowns.

“It’s the City of Cottage Grove color of green,” Bailey said. “We did it last year. We had businesses step and provided funding.”

He was hopeful this will be the last year the city has to do with vaccinations taking hold and keeping COVID-19 at bay. The city’s outlay will be about $2,400 for 35-40 banners, and businesses will be solicited to help recoup the costs.

Councilmember Dave Thiede said that last year he brought up whether starting the banner project was going to set a precedent. He echoed that sentiment.

“The one concern I initially had was setting a precedent, if we did it this year, will we have to do it every year?” he asked. “Do we know for a fact that people can’t have graduation parties and there’s not going to be a graduation ceremony this year?”

Bailey responded, “I do know I’ve gotten invites on Facebook to graduation parties. I haven’t heard anything from the school district on a graduation ceremony.”

Said Councilmember Steve Dennis, “I think it’s a kindly thing to do. We’re still in a tough time. I’m not too worried about a precedent. Councils will do what councils will do. It still takes three votes.”

The council vote to support the banners was unanimous.

Arbor Day Event Bailey also reported that as of April 16, city residents can sign up to have a bare root tree delivered to their home in honor of Arbor Day. Trees will go to the first 125 people who sign up – check out the city’s Facebook page. Trees will be delivered April 30.

The city also will have its citywide cleanup event on May 1. Debris can be dropped off at the Public Works garage from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. that day.

Military Road Concerns The council heard concerns of John Stechcon, 9263 Military Rd., about plans to close Military Road in the future.

“At the last city council meeting, Councilmember Thiede brought up Military Road closure and using Jenson as the only access for the 120 homes,” he said, referring to a new Planned United Development of villas in the area. “Now that road is very thin, and the city engineer says, ‘Oh, it will only be a problem when there’s events.’ In other words, of somebody’s parking on the street.

“Then, during the meeting, another councilmember, he’s more worried about parking space width in front of his business instead of road width. You know, I don’t see how the council can close down Military Road in the future and make everybody go through Ravine Meadows. Those 26 homes are not aware of what’s coming their way. So, the flow of traffic, you guys don’t look at the future. I know the councilmember that owns the business didn’t like that he was losing because you couldn’t6 turn left on 70th Street leaving his business, and he sure was able to get that changed.”

Stechcon wants the city to study road widths.

“I really would like to see the city council look at the future plans, the road widths,” he said. “I don’t understand the council here worried about parking space width and not the width on our major roads going into developments.”

Stechcon was referring to Councilmember Dennis Thiede asking that perhaps the city should consider requiring spaces in parking lots be a little wider to make it easier for people to get in and out of spaces without damage to other vehicles.

Councilmember Justin Olsen later in the meeting brought up the “ancillary comments” from Stechcon and said it was “pretty easy to figure out that’s Councilmember Dennis.”

“I remember that Councilmember Dennis asked us for some consideration around taking a quick look at the size of parking spaces. He was looking at the potential there might be additional width in parking spaces,” said Olsen. “That would actually reduce parking. It wouldn’t increase parking. I guess I’m not seeing any conflict of interest.”

Furthermore, Olsen said he was the one that brought up the issue of the left turn out of the development on 70th St. where Dennis Brothers Liquor and Carbone’s are located. \ “The person who recommended that left hand turn come back into fashion after the county redid that road, that person was me. I’m the one who asked for that,” said Olsen. “The Reason I asked for that is because many of the business owners and many residents of the city who shop in that area were perplexed why they took away a left-hand turn when it was clearly a safe intersection.

“I apologize that my colleague got targeted on both of these things. I think that was inappropriate.”

Olsen also added that in future weeks, fire hydrants throughout the city will be flushed. That could cause some sediment to be stirred up. If residents have slightly discolored water as a result, if they run their tap for a bit, it will clear up.