Owatonna's Central Park calling card will get a facelift this summer. The fountain in the downtown park will get a new paint job after a problem with paint applied just a year ago. A news release states, "The City of Owatonna Parks, Facilities, and Recreation Department has selected a contractor who will sandblast, prime and paint the historic fountain in Central Park.

The project begins soon and will progress as quickly as the weather allows.

Work in 2021 "included reinforcing its foundation, aligning the bowl, repairing the spray ring, refurbishing its centerpiece, installing a handicap-accessible drinking fountain with a doggy drinker near the fountain and painting." However, the paint did not adhere to the surface.

The fountain dates to the 1870s while the centerpiece was added in 1893, "Park improvements were done and drinking fountains were added in 1909. An underground irrigation system was placed in the park in the fall of 1967." Money was raised through a fund drive for restoration of the fountain in 1977. That included lighting and a water recirculation system.

Christmas lights
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TRAFFIC SIGNAL SYSTEM MAINTENANCE

The Steele County Highway Department announces an overhaul of almost a dozen traffic signal systems in Owatonna. The work will "complete maintenance, repairs, and upgrades of signals within the city to improve operations and extend the life of the signal system," according to a media release from the highway department.

These intersections are affected.

  • Hoffman Drive at 21st Avenue NW
  • Hoffman Drive at 24th Avenue NW
  • 21st Avenue NW at West Frontage Road
  • Hoffman Drive at Rose Street/Glendale Street
  • Hoffman Drive at State Avenue
  • Hoffman Drive at North Street
  • Bridge Street at State Avenue
  • Bridge Streat at Allan Avenue/Florence Avenue
  • Main Street at Oak Avenue
  • South Cedar Avenue at 18th Street
  • South Cedar Avenue at Hy-Vee Foods Entrance

The release states, "While the work is in progress, the intersections will be open to traffic but there will be lane closures with flaggers. Signals may be out of service for short durations or in an all-red-flash mode."

Work is expected to continue through the end of August.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

 

LOOK: See America's 50 Best Beach Towns

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.