Valley Falls City Council mute on building offer; wants ATVs legal
by Clarke Davis
Frank Shrimplin returned to city hall Sept. 21 to see if there was any interest in buying the building he offered to finance at the last meeting, but the council was mute on the subject.
Mayor Charles Stutesman welcomed Shrimplin and asked the council if they wished to consider purchasing the building at 318 Broadway that houses the pharmacy and was home to the Glacial Hills RC&D for 20 years.
The council members did not respond and the mayor read that as an indication there would be no change in plans and that the city would continue with plans to rebuild a building at 417 Broadway. Shrimplin left, thanking them for their time.
An extended discussion was held about adopting the standard traffic ordinance for the city, which the council can modify to suit themselves. The desire being expressed is to allow odd conveyances of one sort or another to be able to use the city streets, namely golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, etc.
No one objects when adults, or even minors, use these vehicles in a responsible manner, but the hang up comes in how to enforce the law when someone is being irresponsible.
Councilman Todd Harrington said law or not, he would continue to use one to get about town. He told Police Chief Josh Pence to go ahead and give him a ticket now — “No, a year’s worth,” he said. “Just save you and the judge a lot of time.”
Jo Tichenor thought the city could issue its own license to the younger children after they have taken a safety course conducted by the police chief. While some liked the idea, they felt this was not the age group that would cause a problem.
Pence said he thought Meriden had a similar ordinance for allowing these vehicles but required insurance along with headlights and taillights. The mayor requested staff to search for similar ordinances that the council can consider.
Valley Falls — or Grasshopper Falls — was founded in 1854 and that’s the year the city logo will display.
The council is aware that it did not incorporate as a village until 1869 and as a city until 1871 but it has felt pressure identified as coming from “the historical society people” who want to maintain the 1854 date.
So, 1854 it is by unanimous vote.
The council began the process of reviewing its law book and will take a section at a time to update and recodify the laws. The last time they were updated was 2006, but they continually find problems.
An executive session was held for the purpose of evaluating the new police chief.
Councilman Shawn Jepson was absent.
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