Harmon’s lone cone may soon be gone

Hunter Herbaugh
Sunday, September 13, 2020
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A pickup navigates around the odd lone cone that has stood in the middle of Harmon Street for several years. The road is scheduled for repair. Hunter Herbaugh photo

Several roads in Dawson County are scheduled to be repaired soon after having been in rough shape for several years now, and local drivers should be pleased to hear that Harmon Street is among them.

Most prominently among the streets scheduled for repair is Harmon Street, which runs by Ranch & Farm ACE and has been in disarray for a long time. With its location next to Ranch & Farm and leading into the Albertsons’ parking lot, the small stretch of road sees a lot of traffic, making the issues all that more noticeable. A traffic cone has marked a pothole in the middle of the road for several years.

“It’s probably the busiest little street in town,” said Harold Simard, one of the owners of Ranch & Farm. “With how bad it is, it’s an embarrassment for the community really.”

Due to years of exposure and wear and tear, Harmon Street features large cracks, deep potholes and a bright orange traffic cone right in the middle, making it bothersome to navigate. Trying to determine who to talk to about getting the road fixed has been difficult as well, as maintenance responsibility is split between the city and the county. Simard noted this has been frustrating to address as both entities seem to fix their respective sides of the street at different times.

According to county commissioner Dennis Zander, the difference in street ownership is because the property that Ranch & Farm sits on was never annexed by the city, so the store and street in front are considered to be on county property from O’Neil Street to the alley. The remainder of the road from the alley to Towne Street is city property.

Zander added that it’s not just Ranch & Farm either, as there is a weird “doughnut” of city property and county property made between the alley and O’Neil Street. In regards to Harmon, he said the county will be fixing their own side and the contractor that they awarded the bid to, J & S Construction, has also made a bid to the city to fix that side.

Albertsons store director Geri Cullinan has also previously expressed frustration with the condition of the street. She noted that she doesn’t believe it has kept business away but has been more of a bother to locals, as they either have to navigate the damage to get to the stop light or go out of the parking lot the other way and wait at the stop sign.

“I think people are just getting tired of it. It’s a nuisance more than anything. I don’t think it’s kept any business away,” Cullinan said.

Now that repairs are scheduled to take place, Cullinan noted she is feeling relieved and is sure people will enjoy not having to deal with as much of the wear and tear.

The county’s contract with J & S Construction also includes filling potholes and fixing other streets in Forest Park and Highland Park. According to Zander, this will be the first time that J & S have worked on these roads. Previously, the county roads were patched by county employees, addressing the problems when the county had the funds to do so.

“It’s a continual process that we try to keep on top of, but it always depends on how much money we have available,” Zander said.

Harmon Street was actually scheduled to be fixed last year. However, bad weather kept crews from performing maintenance before the season turned.

Reach Hunter Herbaugh at rrreporter@rangerreview. com.