Faribault Mayor Kevin Voracek joined us on the KDHL Newsline during the 8:05 morning report today to give us a summary of the annual City Council retreat.  Council members didn't have to go very far.  The retreat was held at The Inn at Shattuck-St. Mary's on Faribault east side.

After a interactive exercise on conflict and escalation Council members did a review of the 29 boards and commissions they have a stake in.  Voracek said the Council conducted a discussion about transportation system planning and said they need to work with the county's visioning too and gave us an example.

"Things like the County over by Arby's Restaurant is eventually going to make that a left turn only so you will not be able to go across the street on old 4th Street.  It'll just be a left turn so that will make that intersection significantly safer than what it is right now."

The Faribault Mayor said the Council talked about I-35 interchanges into Faribault, "and ideally the five that we will maybe someday have starting with County Road 9, the three existing ones and one more on the south end of town.  Of course the big debate was you know do we push the State and the Federal to make the one on the south end of town where County Road 48 terminates, do we push that to be a full interchange?  When we look at the land use that's gonna happen there it would take a significant chunk of the current campground that's there just so they can get their turn radiuses in."

He added, "There's an idea map the County has to kind of look at putting a road across from roughly Highland over to a new road on the other side of the Interstate to meet up with Bagley over there.  That was kind of an interesting plan but I don't know if it will ever happen.  I would personally rather see a new interchange on the next bridge south of there where there is nothing developed and it's all open and ready to go."

I've been saying for years it's crazy to have half an interchange and Voracek said, "Right, and even the conversations with the school district, they keep looking at expanding things more south and there's no real good way to get people from Highland down to the Middle School or the Soccer Complex or whatever comes in the future there, or even out to the church on the end, but if you had one more exit ramp on and off both directions south of town you could adequately serve everybody. Because you've still got room with flexibility in roads out there to make the roads the way you want them."

The Faribault Mayor said there has been a 40 year discussion about an interchange at County Road 9 that hasn't happened yet.

Construction on I-35 in Minnesota began in 1958.