WINONA LAKE — It was supposed to be about the 2018 budget, but that was short lived as ordinance 2017-9-1 stole the show.
The board blew through the public hearing for the 2018 budget as the floor closed as quickly as it opened when no one spoke up against it. However, moments later the real discussion started as the board introduced ordinance 2017-9-1 to the table, and the public asked for time to speak on the ordinance.
The injunction proposed four new stop signs to the alley ways cutting from 12th Street and Auditorium as well as Court Street to West Canal Street. The stop signs would provide more traffic control to the intersection of the two alleys where there has been none thus far.
However, homeowner Vince Swanson, whose home butts up against both alleys, wished to see the shortcut abolished altogether, stating, “You’re protecting your children — my grandchildren, kids on the block. We leave the alley as an access for pedestrians. Nobody wants to stop pedestrians or light traffic.”
Rather than installing stop signs, Swanson was “proposing instead of putting stop signs up there is to negate the alley altogether,” arguing the safety concerns for both pedestrians and drivers and cost efficiency. His proposal offered the residents to maintain the blocked off alley as well to help encourage the council on the proposal.
Swanson also noted that “the alley comes up within four feet of (his) property. People (are) driving within two feet of (his) house.”
One additional problem is “a continuous sidewalk” on the end of the alley. Swanson said, “It doesn’t stop at that alley; it doesn’t look like this is a street,” making pedestrians unaware that they have to stop due to vehicles coming through.
The four homeowners next to the alley proposed putting “up (four) pillars, that negates cars from cutting through” that doesn’t stop garbage pick up, garage access or access to the back of the homes.
After Swanson’s presentation, the board moved to table the ordinance and review it further.
In other news:
- The board approved a part-time receptionist for the council.
- The council reviewed the plans and expenses for paving the roads. The discussion was tabled while they wait to hear about a grant.
- Town Engineer Larry Long served his last meeting for the board.
- The board approved TE Inc replaced the town engineer position for the remainder of 2017.