By Barbie Porter
The Frazee Public Safety Committee met on Monday, Jan. 3 and discussed the dangers of kids playing in the large snow piles.
The towering heaps of snow are created when the city crew removes snow from streets and deposits it in an area. City employees grew concerned when they witnessed kids playing on the piles.
Frazee City Administrator Jordin Roberts said children are also digging tunnels and forts, which could be a life-threatening situation if they were in a tunnel when additional snow was added to the pile.
Frazee Councilman Mark Flemmer, who is part of the Public Safety Committee, added there is also the risk for the tunnel to collapse.
Frazee Police Chief Tyler Trieglaff suggested a quick fix would be a lathe fence and warning signs around the snow piles. He added if an officer witnesses a child on the snow pile, they would also address the concern at that time.
The committee also discussed cameras. The city currently has 10 cameras in place throughout the city, and the reported cost was about $25,000. Trieglaff said the additional cameras would cost between $1,000-to$2,000 per pole. He noted if they can utilize the restricted savings, instead of the police budget, he believes they can afford about six more in central locations.
Roberts added the police department also has funds remaining in the police department’s capital improvement budget, which was budgeted for cameras. She explained those funds will be shifted to the restricted savings, but can be removed for cameras, as Trieglaff said.
Flemmer asked if crime has decreased with the cameras that were installed.
“I think they are helping,” Trieglaff said. “Our major crime is going down.”
Trieglaff noted the department’s equipment is up-to-date, and some older items may be going up for sale.
Roberts added she spoke with the insurance agent, who stated one squad car was removed from the police department and instead insured as street usage by the city crew, noting squad insurance is more costly.
Trieglaff said that can be sold at some point, but if the city crew is getting use out of it, that it was making good use of the decommissioned squad car.
Security cameras at the event center were brought up for discussion again. When the issue was first discussed a year or so ago, Trieglaff said the system offered was in the $30,000 range. Believing that is excessive, he is looking for a better price.
Flemmer said there may be additional COVID-19 funds remaining after the city hall addition is done. Trieglaff said the police department already has updated computers on order, and they had what they needed to keep the city safe.
Flemmer noted the State Highway 87 project is slated to begin in the spring. With more people likely using the path that will go in with the road, he thought it would be wise to get signs that flash when a driver is over the speed limit.
“We thought one at the school coming into town and one by the road when coming down the hill, where you’re likely to collect speed before the Turkey Park area,” Flemmer said. “I think we can use our grant money.”
Roberts noted the expense would be on the city and a Minnesota Department of Transportation OK would be needed.
Flemmer said he looked online and found one that cost about $3,200.
“It’s a nice little visual warning since we’ll have, conceivably, a lot more civilian traffic,” Flemmer continued.
Trieglaff said another area where speeding is prevalent in city limits is along Becker County Highway 29. He noted there is a path with a crosswalk on the road.