By DAVID GREEN
A citizen asked for an additional stop sign on Locust Street near the elementary school, and at least one council member agrees there’s a problem.
Council’s Public Safety committee will consider the matter, along with police chief Larry Weeks, and refer the issue back to council.
Locust Street resident Laura Wager told council members about a problem with speeding vehicles on her street. Without a stop sign east from East Street, she estimates some vehicles traveling 40 to 50 miles and hour.
“Probably faster,” said councilor Jason Cook who lives in the area.
“We have many, many young children on that street who don’t know how to cross streets,” Wager said. “Certain drivers are showing a lack of consideration for other people. We need to act before we lose a child.”
From East Street to Washington Street, Locust Street measures about a quarter mile, she said, and she suggested a stop sign either at Burley or Page. Cook said that Page would be a better choice for a three-way stop sign since many children cross the street there to reach the school’s sidewalk.
Chief Weeks said that studies have shown that stop signs don’t always impede speeding as might be expected, but he would consider the suggestion.
City law designates that the police chief serve as traffic engineer who would make recommendations to council.
Wager said she has license plate numbers that she’s willing to give the police department. Weeks said the state law requires that an officer observe the speed, without going through a complicated legal process.
He could contact the alleged violators and chastise them, he said, but he could not issue tickets.
Wager described the vehicle driven by the worse offender and Weeks responded that the individual has already been ticketed more than once.
Council member Keith Pennington asked if a sign that informs drivers of their speed could be posted on Locust Street. Weeks said he knew of two in the county and he might be able to borrow one.
Wager added that she appreciates the city’s efforts to have sidewalks installed in the city, noting the new walks now in place near the school.
PRISONERS—Chief Weeks, serving as Morenci Area EMS coordinator, told council that a crew of prison workers completed several maintenance projects at the EMS station. In addition to painting projects, the workers spread a quantity of donated stone for the parking area.
FIRE DEPARTMENT—Matt Higgins was approved as a new member of the fire department.
City council voted to pay for half of the cost of a new washer and dryer for fire hall, not to exceed $700. The Morenci Fire Association will pay the other half.
Department member Nick Smith was thanked for agreeing to become a CPR trainer. He will then teach the skills to Morenci department members at no cost.
REST ROOMS—The rest rooms at Wakefield Park are temporarily locked due to vandalism.
LIBRARY—Council discussed the need for a railing at the back of the Liz Stella Annex at the library. Two people tripped recently after a library function.
City supervisor Barney Vanderpool will investigate city code regulations before contacting someone to install a railing.
LEASE—Council approved a lease agreement with the Gallup brothers to farm the vacant industrial park land. The acreage will revert back to 79 acres at a cost of $130 an acre. Last year about 24 acres were taken out of the agreement due to the expected expansion of Palm Plastics.
ADMINISTRATOR—Two people have applied for the vacant residential zoning administrator job, reported Pennington. He expects a committee recommendation by the next council meeting.