Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2006

Speed trap may be on its last lap

July 6, 2006

If all goes as planned, all those tickets written for doing 30 mph down Sixth Street will come to an end.

The Baldwin City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would raise the speed limit along Sixth Street from Ames to Indiana streets from 20 mph to 30 mph. That includes the block between Baker and Chapel streets which borders Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center.

"This was brought up at a safety committee meeting," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman. " The safety committee discussed it and recommended that the speed limit be raised."

But, it won't be done until discussion with Deb Ehling-Gwin, principal at BESPC.

"We do want Dr. Ehling-Gwin to comment on this from the primary center," said Council Member Nancy Brown, a member of the committee.

Council Member Doyle Jardon questioned why the speed limit needed to be changed. He remembers that it was 30 mph in the past, but no one could recall when it was lowered.

"I'm not opposed to it," said Jardon. "It just seems like we're going from 20 to 30 from 20 in 10 years time."

Brown wasn't sure when the speed limit was changed, but noted that improvements to Sixth Street warrant the change for a stretch that has become well known for traffic stops.

"It is an unintended speed trap," said Brown.

Council President Amy Cleavinger asked if it had been discussed whether the area near BESPC would have speed controlled before and after school, such as is done on U.S. Highway 56 south of the junior high with flashing lights.

"I do worry about the area around the school," said Cleavinger. "I see a lot of people walking there. Will it be a school zone before and after school?"

Brown didn't indicate if that had been discussed, but planned to have Ehling-Gwin present at the next meeting on July 17.

"I hope she will attend the next meeting," said Brown.

Other speed limit changes that also received initial approval: Eight Street from Indiana to Orange streets would also rise from 20 mph to 30 mph.; and language modifications in the ordinance which reflect the posted speed limits on north Sixth Street or Douglas County Road 1055 which went into effect several years ago.

Also on the agenda was a report from Tina Rakes, zoning codes administrator, on the city-wide clean up that occurred June 17. This year, Baldwin residents brought more than 16.42 tons of trash to be hauled away, compared to 11.92 tons last year.

"We did it differently from last year," said Rakes. "We had it after city-wide garage sale instead of before. I think that brought the tonnage up."

The recycling numbers were up, too. Last year, Lonnie's Recycling came up with three tons, this year 12th and Haskell Bargain and Recycling had 8.5 tons. Last year, nothing was paid to the city for recycling and this year it made almost $500. Other numbers remained about the same. Last year 20 tires were recycled, this year 25.

The council also met in executive session, closed to the public, for 30 minutes regarding personnel matters. No action resulted from the session.

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