Lack of speed limit on highway, new limit on Sycamore irk people in Valley Falls
by Clarke Davis
A 30-minute city council meeting was held May 16 in Valley Falls with council President Lucy Thomas presiding in the absence of Mayor Charles Stutesman.
The council purchased new stop and yield signs, established wages for swimming pool employees, and reappointed Geraldine Metzger and Nona “Polly” Schneider to three-year terms on the Housing Authority board of directors.
The council, at the urging of the businesses along K-4 highway, wants a reduced speed limit past the city but are not getting a response from the state Department of Transportation. Councilwoman Jo Tichenor is pushing the hardest to make some noise.
“Do we need to get petitions signed or the TV stations up here?” she asked.
Councilman Shawn Jepson said he’d heard complaints about the new 20 mph sign put up on Sycamore Street just north of K-16. Northbound traffic sees it just before arriving at the ball diamonds, one and a half blocks before arriving at the business section where the council intended to slow traffic.
When the council passed the ordinance, the discussion centered around slowing traffic through the first block off Broadway where there are now concentrated five businesses and the post office—a business section that already comes under the 20 mph limit.
Jepson said the southern portion of the street is being called a “speed trap” by members of the public. Police Chief Josh Pence said he has not written any tickets for speeding on that street.
Other members noted that the slower speed was needed at times when there are children at the ball fields that straddle Sycamore Street. Organized events usually put up baracades and reroute traffic, but there are many times when there are children in the area with little or no supervision.
City administrator Chris Channell reviewed the policy concerning citizen complaints. He said that any complaint to be taken under consideration by the council had to be in writing. He further noted that a city council member, when not in official session, was a private citizen and should not be bothered at his or her place of employment or their business.
He acquired the phone numbers and email addresses of council members to be published in the newspaper so people can address their representatives in their off hours.
The mayor, on the other hand, is always the mayor—the one official who is always on duty, Channell said.
VALLEY FALLS CITY
Water and Sewer
Daryl Courter, utilities Supt.
Hahn and Harrington
Parks and Pool
Thomas and Jepson
Police and Court
Police Chief Josh Pence
Stutesman, Thomas, Hahn
Streets and Alleys
Courter, Harrington, Tichenor
Thomas and Tichenor
Harrington and Tichenor
Council meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
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