Medina residents took a second look at what's involved in making a county road a city responsibility. Among the negatives: tax increases and costly upkeep.
Roads aren't cheap to keep up, so cities generally don't offer to take them off counties' hands. But last year, Medina did.
Now, some residents and city officials wish it hadn't.
A unanimous City Council voted on Tuesday night to revoke its earlier resolution asking Hennepin County to make part of County Road 201 a city road.
"I think we made a mistake even putting it on the table for negotiations," said Council Member Joe Cavanaugh, "because I think the county is very interested in handing them off."
The idea of controlling the road -- called Homestead Trail and Parkview Drive in Medina -- was more popular last year, when a large group of people living along it complained about constant heavy truck traffic.
"Three times I almost got killed just going to the mailbox," said Margaret Buschbom, 87.
By making it a city road, the council could restrict its truck traffic, as it has along other city roads.
"That's the only reason we would take it back," said Mayor Tom Crosby.
But it also would have to fix, maintain and plow it.
Residents recently learned that such control could come with increased taxes, and for adjacent property owners, assessments were estimated from $4,000 to $34,400 over the next 30 years for upkeep of the road.
The residents returned to the city, saying the switch would be a mistake. Several testified that the truck traffic had lessened, in part because of new signs and construction projects that have concluded.
Before, "everybody and his brother was coming through," said Wally Marx, 67, who owns four properties along the road. But now, "a lot of the truck traffic is really calming down."
Hennepin County had expressed interest in pursuing the idea.
"I'd leave the stripes on the road, because you can't roll those up. And if somebody called with a complaint or a request for service, I'd tell them to call the city."
The county regularly works with cities to determine the right jurisdiction on the right roads, he said, depending on how much traffic they're carrying, among other things.
County officials have lists of roads and segments of roads they believe should be under city control -- and vice versa. Cities generally have no obligation to take them over, however, and do so infrequently.
Initially, Medina had asked Hennepin County to consider turning back three roads, Hamel Road, Homestead Trail and Parkview Drive. But the county said "no" to Hamel Road because its dump trucks use it.
Homestead Trail and Park-view Drive first became County Road 201 back in the 1970s, said longtime resident Robert Franklin, who was on the City Council then. At the time, the city traded away the roads for a piece of parkland it was hesitant to give up.
"We were happy as all get-out to get rid of them," said Franklin, a retired Star Tribune reporter.
Medina officials are still concerned about the traffic, especially as it makes sharp turns along the roads, and will lobby county and state officials to consider changing speed limits and putting up more signs along them.
"A lot of our roads are not designed to be major corridors," said City Administrator Chad Adams.
But taking them over? It's not likely to come up again anytime soon.
Said resident Tim Haislet: "I think they have a pretty sweet deal at this point."
Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168