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Someone Taking Creative Approach to Pothole Problem in Hermantown

Ryan Juntti
Updated: June 25, 2019 06:55 PM

We have all dealt with potholes. They are a headache, and can cause major damage to our vehicles, but someone has been taking a lighter approach to the pothole problem in Hermantown.

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Someone who is not a city official has been using white spray paint to mark potholes that need patching on Hermantown Road. They have also been writing creative remarks next to the potholes. 

In the Northland, we're used to seeing our fair share of potholes, but words like "smack," "yikes," "warning," "crunch," "crack," and even "rawr" with a dinosaur drawn in the hole are painted with white spray paint along Hermantown Road.

"We appreciate the fact that there wasn't anything vulgar, there wasn't anything terrible on it. We were able to kind of have a smile about it, and know that we're all dealing, whether you're in City Hall or you're just driving on the roads that we're dealing with a lot of potholes," said Hermantown Communications Manager Joe Wicklund. "There is something delightfully Hermantown. Our graffiti is even nice," he said.

Wicklund says neither the circles nor the words were painted by the city, and he says he isn't sure who is responsible.

"I don't think it's a great, giant effort to find out who. The bigger part is, let's make sure that those potholes, not just on Hermantown road, but other roads where they're a challenge get filled in as soon as they can," said Wicklund.

Community members WDIO News spoke with say that this could actually be beneficial as it draws attention to the pothole problem, but Wicklund emphasizes there are both safer and more effective ways to let city officials know there are problems that need to be addressed.

"It might've put a smile on a lot of people's faces but it also gives us a chance to reset and say, 'hey there are great ways to communicate with your city officials to be able to alert if there's a major issue or just something that you've been dealing with a long time,' " said Wicklund.

Hermantown Police say marking the streets is technically vandalism, however right now the city is choosing not to remove the spray paint so there likely won't be charges filed as it isn't costing the city any money.

Wicklund says the city had planned to address the pothole problem on the painted stretch of road in the near future. He also says the city will be doing a temporary fix on the potholes, but they are waiting on receiving the mix to do so.

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Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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