Repair Vernon Avenue soonPublished 5:12am Monday, March 11, 2013 Updated 7:15am Monday, March 11, 2013
Fergus Falls is a community with a lot of pride and a great deal of which to be proud: Beautiful parks, a strong economy, well-kept homes and businesses, a great quality of life.
So it is unfortunate that one of the city’s most heavily-traveled roadways looks — and feels to drivers — like it has been transplanted here from some distant part of the world where paved roads are a novelty. It is time to rehabilitate Vernon Avenue.
The pothole season has put a focus on the problems with Vernon Avenue between Cascade and Mill streets, the stretch of road near the library, NP Park and Lake Region Healthcare.
But the problem runs deeper than potholes. Since long before winter took a bite out of the road’s surface, that stretch of Vernon has been a quiltwork of asphalt patches that reflects poorly on the city.
It is no wonder that the action of ice and frost have turned the patchwork stretch of roadway into something that resembles a battlefield this winter.
Anyone who doesn’t visit Fergus Falls regularly — a patient at LRHC’s world class cancer center or a visitor to the library or courthouse — couldn’t be blamed for getting a bad impression of the city.
And residents who drive Vernon regularly are well justified in wondering why a few of the tax dollars recently spent to build an elaborate (and lightly used) bridge couldn’t have gone to fixing up good old Vernon Avenue.
A story in last week’s Journal noted that city staff plan to present a Vernon Avenue repair plan to the city council in April. Most residents probably wish the plan had been forthcoming last April, but late is better than never.
The city council needs to ensure that the community embarrassment of Vernon Avenue is corrected. Soon.