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Published May 06, 2013, 10:49 PM

Council approves new roadside memorial policy

Daily commuters in Grand Forks will notice a change in roadside memorials. The council passed a policy that formalizes the process of placing memorials for those killed in motor vehicle accidents.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

Daily commuters in Grand Forks will notice a change in roadside memorials. The council passed a policy that formalizes the process of placing memorials for those killed in motor vehicle accidents.

This new policy will do away with the typical roses and crosses placed in the past, and they're being replaced with a plaque and a fee.

Pete Haga, Community and Government Relations Officer: "We worked with some of the family members -- we worked with our traffic engineer -- we worked with the rest of our city staff to develop a policy that we think comes up as a pretty good balance on how to move forward."

The city hopes that this new policy will serve as a fitting memorial to victims and eliminate danger to family members who wish to visit these sites.

Terry Bjerke, Service Safety Committee Chairperson: "It's very limited streets this can go on it's just the main streets in town; columbia, south washington, etc, so it's not like they're going to be all over."

In order to have a plaque set up an application must be filed with city hall and upon approval, a $30 fee must be paid. Among other stipulations plaques can only be placed for those who have passed away within the last 5 years and can't be up any more than 10 years.

Hal Gershman, Council President: "I'm a little concerned that if you leave it wide open that we may have an awful lot of signs up but I would hope we don't have that many accidents."

Memorials will be placed on the right side of roadways facing traffic and will not be in the medians. The city will retain ownership of all signs and plaques. Any flowers, balloons or toys placed at these memorials will be removed by the city. Only the immediate family, or those given permission by the family is eligible to apply for these plaques.

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