Supervisors hold back on changing name of Alfalfa Avenue

__lt__a href=""__gt__rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com__lt__/a__gt__May 13, 2013 

The Merced County Board of Supervisors will continue discussions about changing the name of a Merced-area road after officials determined the required notifications were not posted.

"The intent of posting the road is to give the public a chance to comment and we didn't do that," said Dana Hertfelder, the county's public works director.

Because of the oversight, county supervisors decided this week to continue the public hearing about changing the name of Alfalfa Avenue to Marino Way. The road stretches from Mission Avenue to McHenry Road.

The name change was proposed by a member of the Marino family. The longtime Merced residents also owned a ranch in the area, Hertfelder said.

Another reason for the change is because a stretch of the same road along Highway 99, from McHenry Road to Pioneer Road, will soon be named Marino Way when the California Department of Transportation completes construction within months.

"We thought it would be simpler to have it all one name, and it would be less confusing," Hertfelder said.

There aren't any addresses on Alfalfa Avenue, so the change wouldn't affect any property owners, he added.

But one Merced resident asked the board to reconsider the name change until more people could be informed about the proposal.

"I have searched high and low on several occasions looking for posted signs and never did find any," said Michael Dwyer, 72. "My suggestion is to have more public awareness and some ability for people to make some presentations."

Hertfelder said he wants to hear from residents before determining the next steps.

"Before we proceed with the public hearing, we'll go out and post the road and let people know," he said. "We just need to look at this a little carefully and determine how best to proceed."

The road was constructed as part of the Mission Avenue Interchange Project, then relinquished to the county in 2010. It was accepted into the county system and given its name by staff two years later.

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