During Monday night’s regular scheduled city council meeting, the Ferris City Council did not approve the placement of a stop sign on the corner of Jimmie Birdwell and Megan Street.
However, they did decide to lower the speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 20, and to enforce that no heavy trucks or machinery would be allowed to take that route.
Pam Hall, a resident of Shaw Creek who said it is nearly impossible to get out of her driveway during school hours because of the traffic at that particular intersection brought the request before the council.
“I’m asking the council members to consider adding a stop sign on the corner of Jimmie Birdwell and Megan,” Hall said. “We have speed bumps, but they don’t slow down the traffic long enough for us to pull out of our driveways.”
Hall continued by saying that she saw where the city placed a stop sign on Ninth and Tenth Streets, and they are working. She said she feels like this would be the best solution to their problem. In addition, Hall said there are all kinds of traffic on the road, which makes it extremely busy.
“The road is busy enough as it is,” she said. “Now we have to deal with farm equipment, buses, trash trucks and loaded trucks traveling down our street. We have to do something during school hours because we can’t get out of our driveways.”
After much discussion, the council members decided that a stop sign would further create a traffic jam. They determined that the best way to manage the situation was to drop the speed limit and prohibit trucks and heavy machinery from using the road.
In addition to that agenda item, there were two items up for discussion that were tabled pending further examination and analysis. One of those items concerns the application by David’s Supermarket to sell beer and wine for off-premise consumption.
City Manager Eric Strong said this came after the city decided during the previous election to allow the sale of beer and wine in the city. He said the issue here is not the permit, but the location of the supermarket.
“As you might recall, our ordinance states that if they are within 300 feet of a school, they need to formally request a variance from the city council,” Strong said. “I have talked with the school superintendent to gauge his feelings on his issue. He has talked to the school board, and there doesn’t appear to be any concerns from the district.”
Strong added that it is also important for the council members to keep in mind that if they grant the variance, the TABC will require a higher bond amount from David’s because they are within 1,000 feet of a school. He said they require this from any applicant who is located within 1,000 feet of a school.
“The process by which a variance is granted is not specifically outlined in the ordinance,” Strong said. “We have created a resolution to document whether or not the variance is granted. The resolution should only be adopted should you choose to grant the variance/waiver.”
After being presented with all the information, the members of the city council decided to table the action until they have the input of the school board members at the next city council meeting.
After a recycling update presented by Angela Bruner of the park board and a representative of Waste Management Inc., the council was undecided on the possibility of starting a recycling program in the city. It wasn’t the actual recycling program that brought alarm, but it was the possibility of adding more on the residents financially that left the members of the city council split in their decision.
“Several months ago we had some discussions with WMI about the possibility of starting a recycling program here in Ferris,” Strong said. “What we had eventually come to with WMI is that if we are going to start a recycling program, WMI will charge $2 per household per month.” That was the issue council members struggled with, and they eventually chose to table the item until they get more information about the cost.
In other action council chose to:
• allow the city manager to sale one of their police cars through an online auction site
• appoint Judge Sue Schmidt as the municipal court judge
• allow Yeldell and Wilson to perform the audit for the city
• introduced new Police Officer Stephen Tiner
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