Here are a few highlights from the November meeting of the Bennington City Council. (The full minutes are posted here.)
(I attended by phone because I was ill with COVID-19, and my family and I remain in quarantine. As I said in the meeting, Bennington needs to take the virus seriously. Small sacrifices like avoiding crowded, indoor spaces and wearing masks can keep our kids in school and keep our elderly family members safe. If my grade-school kids and their teachers can take precautions every day, so can the rest of us.)
156th Street update: The intersection at 156th Street and Bennington Road is now being completed. Crews are preparing to pour the section between the intersection and Molley Street. Once this is complete, they will connect the intersection to the existing roadway at 156th Street. Most work will pause until the ground thaws, except for storm sewer work alongside the roadway. 156th Street will remain open during the winter pause.
CW Hadan Drive: The Council gave the city's engineering team the go-ahead to design improvements to CW Hadan Drive in front of Cubby's and the adjacent storefronts. The city will add a row of parallel parking to the north side of the street. This will resolve the traffic congestion and pedestrian risks that occur during peak hours, when multiple trash trucks and construction vehicles are vying for places to park on both sides of the street. While design work will move forward now, construction will not be scheduled until later in 2021, after the 156th Street project is closer to completion.
New police officer: The Council welcomed Joshua Damme as the Bennington Police Department's new junior officer. Josh is a certified police officer from Cass County who recently graduated from the police academy. Josh's hire brings Bennington's force to four full-time officers, enough for nearly round-the-clock coverage. This was the goal of the mayor and the Council when Chief Hilscher came on board last year.
Please contact me if you want to discuss these topics or any other. Again, stay safe out there, and please do what you can to keep your fellow community members safe, too.