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On Tenth Avenue, neighbors complain of speeders

| June 12, 2024 7:15 AM

By CHRIS PETERSON

Hungry Horse News

The city will do a speed study on 10th Avenue West after neighbors claimed that some motorists have been blasting down the street as of late.

The north-south road near the high school has apparently become a raceway for youths, who try to hit a dip in the road, which makes their rigs go airborne.

Neighbors brought up concerns at last week’s city council meeting.

“We have the videos to prove it,” resident Justin King told council.

King said it was particularly dangerous because the road has no sidewalks.

After some discussion, the Kings were asked to file a formal speed study request with the city.

The study takes some time and is completed by the Columbia Falls Police Department.

If it’s determined the road in its current state poses a danger, the city could put in four-way stop signs on the road at the intersections with other streets, which should slow down the traffic.

The city recently did a similar study in the neighborhood east of Smith’s Food and Drug and installed several stop signs on First Avenue East.

In other street news, resident Matt Hutcheson raised concerns about drainage on 7th Street East, which has been crowned incorrectly he maintained, forcing the water runoff in the wrong direction, as it floods his property rather than running toward drains.

The city is aware of the problem and is waiting for a contractor to fix the street, as it was recently torn up to provide utilities for a new housing project.

In yet another street issue, Mayor Don Barnhart asked the city to pay for half the cost of new lilac bushes at the Ogden residence on First Avenue West.

The bushes, Mary Ogden told the Hungry Horse News, were on their property, but were still removed by contractors working on a new sidewalk and gutter project in the neighborhood.

The city earlier this spring approved the cost of building a fence at another residence in the neighborhood after lilac bushes were removed from in front of their house.

Those bushes were apparently in the right-of-way, but council still decided the residents should get a fence, as the city never had an informational meeting with neighbors until after the project had been started — and the bushes destroyed. In addition, the bushes could have simply been dug up and then replanted after the sidewalk was put in, but crews ground them up rather than saving them.

There was some discussion by council on whether replacing bushes or fences was setting a precedent, but city attorney Justin Breck said the city does have some discretion in these matters on a case-by-case basis.