By Lasca Randels
LEESBURG — Concerns about motorists speeding in town were addressed at the Leesburg Town Council meeting Monday, March 8.
Council President Tom Moore suggested using a speed monitor, similar to one on Husky Trail, north of Menards in Warsaw.
“We’re going to be coming up on our summer season where we seem to have…we acquire extra speeders going through town,” Moore said. “I’m not so naive as to believe that anything, including law enforcement vehicles parked in various areas, stops people from speeding, but maybe if we could remind them.”
Street Commissioner Craig Charlton said he spoke with the town signage supplier, who has a totally self-sufficient, solar-powered speed monitor available for purchase in the amount of $3,200. The monitor can be mounted on a sign post and moved to different locations. Charlton will bring the quote for the monitor to the April meeting.
The speed limit throughout town is 25 mph.
Charlton said he has looked into having county law enforcement monitor the area for people speeding but was informed the town would have to pay for the service.
“That doesn’t seem quite right. We pay taxes, we should be entitled. We know when our problem times are,” Charlton said. “I watch it in the morning at 4:30. There are people that drive down Van Buren and Prairie at well over 50 mph. It scares the living daylights out of me.”
Council Vice President Christina Archer also voiced concern about the issue.
“I do think that even if we don’t have law enforcement in the town we need to do something and I know that people ignore signs quite a bit, but I still feel like there are some measures we can take that may help a little bit at least,” Archer said. “It won’t stop everybody, but it’s a concern because we do have a lot of children and as the weather warms up there are going to be more and more.”
Resident Brandon Allen said this is a great start.
“Something needs to happen.The speeds that we see right out our front door are amazing,” Allen said. “I would say most of the offenders are eastbound down Plum and come around the corner and it’s usually the people that are going more than 25 mph down Plum and then they hit the corner and carry that speed on through so I would say that’s the more problematic direction.”
“That’s really upsetting. I mean, parents…once you’re a parent, you’re always a parent, I don’t care what age you are,” Charlton said. “When you see people going down these roads at the speeds they are – we have to do something. I agree with you completely.”
Charlton said when he spoke to county law enforcement, he was told the town could pay to have an officer come in to basically provide a community service.
“I said ‘No, I want people slowing down. I want people getting tickets.’ I didn’t get that answer that they’re gonna write tickets,” Charlton said. ” If we’re gonna pay for somebody and they’re not gonna write tickets, what good are they?”
“I’ll be happy to talk with law enforcement, too, because I want some money back,” Moore said. “Because we’ve been paying taxes to the county sheriff’s department forever. So I want a refund, if we’re gonna have to pay extra money.”
In another matter, Plain Township Trustee Tyler Huffer said they are potentially looking at installing emergency alert systems throughout the township and are in the process of developing a plan. Huffer asked the town council if they are interested in having a tornado siren in Leesburg.
Moore said the details will need to be worked out, “but the answer is yes, we would definitely participate. It’s a public safety issue.”
Huffer will return to the next meeting for further discussion.
Council members and residents discussed sidewalk repair and renovations during the public comment portion of the meeting, with Charlton emphasizing that sidewalks are the responsibility and liability of the homeowner.
“If someone should fall, it’s your liability,” he said.
Although some residents have used the Leesburg Sidewalk Enhancement Program provided by the town, Charlton said, it’s frustrating that most people don’t take advantage of the program and are missing out on it.
In this program, the town pays for concrete that is 4 inches deep, 5 feet wide and 66 feet long. The remainder of the expense is the responsibility of the property owner.
“Here’s one point,” Charlton said. “About the time someone has an accident, they will pay dearly. It might cost them maybe $1,000 to hire someone to come and put in a sidewalk, but that will be a drop in the bucket compared to what they’ll have to pay in liability and that is very unfortunate.”
Town officials would like residents to be aware of the following:
No parking on any street between 3-5 am
No burning anything anytime.
Please be mindful of what you flush
Speed limits in town are 25 MPH
The Leesburg Street Department phone number is (574) 527-2884.
In other items:
- Derek Tenney of Tenney & Sons Inc., Warsaw, provided a sanitary sewer report.
- Moore publicly thanked Charlton for the work he performed for the town during the winter months.
- It was decided that reduced sewer fees for churches, restaurants and bars will remain in place at this time, as these facilities are not able to operate at full capacity.
- The next regular meeting will be 6:30 p.m. April 12.