City, school board talk about streets
In a joint session Monday, Baldwin City Council and Baldwin School Board members discussed the possibility of modifying streets surrounding Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center and the new primary center if it's built there.
Under the proposal, Bullpup Lane would be extended south to connect with Elm Street, while Elm Street would be extended west to meet with Lawrence Street.
Supt. Paul Dorathy began the discussion with city council members.
"We need to know which streets and how far they will be extended," Dorathy said.
Overall, members of the city council seemed receptive to the idea of street work.
"I think we would kick ourselves if we didn't do this," said Amy Cleavinger, a city council member.
Of the possible benefits that could be derived from the street construction, the possibility of improving the congestion that forms around Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center at the beginning and end of classes was one of the most prominent.
"We'd be crazy not to connect Elm to Bullpup," said Doyle Jardon, a member of the city council. "I can't see there being improvement on pick-ups and deliveries without connections."
Jardon, who has children attending BESPC, said he had personally experienced the congestion that came from around the school during peak traffic times.
"It's crazy," Jardon said of the traffic.
In addition, some school board members lauded the increased safety that could come from connecting the streets, which would give emergency vehicles more access points to the schools if necessary.
"It would allow a big improvement over safety," said Board Member Ande Parks about the possible changes.
Another topic of discussion centered on the issue of cost.
City Administrator Jeff Dingman said that a road construction project in another part of town ended up costing $450 per linear foot.
While cutting costs by not creating sidewalks or curves for the new streets was suggested, Bill Winegar, public works director, expressed opposition to the idea.
"I can see us having kids out on the street if we don't have the sidewalks," Winegar said.
Winegar also said that the proposed changes to speed limits along U.S. Highway 56, which runs north of BESIC, should also play a role in the final decision about connecting the streets.
Another concern addressed during the meeting regarded the maintenance of the new street. By Elm Street connecting to Lawrence Street, there would probably mean increased traffic on Lawrence Street, a county road. With the increased traffic, more funds would be necessary for the street's maintenance.