|School zone traffic topic at meeting
|Posted: Friday, August 10, 2012 12:00 pm
|The Dresden Police Chief proposed speeding cameras in the school zone during the Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Monday. The discussion started during Police Chief Randal Walker’s report, when Alderman Richard Tidwell asked Walker about a rumor to get speed cameras for the city of Dresden.
“I’ve got to do something for my school zone where people go about 50 to 60 miles per hour,” said Walker. “We have no tolerance for speeding in a school zone.”
Walker informed the board that he is contemplating getting cameras only in the school zone to be used during the morning and afternoon when there is school traffic.
“Personally, I don’t like them,” said Tidwell. “If it’s strictly something for a school zone, just for a few hours a day, then okay.”
“It’s all about the little ones,” Tidwell later stated.
The board discussed the option of lowering the speed to 20 miles per hour in the school zone, but many aldermen mentioned that they believed the speed limit couldn’t be dropped so low.
Walker informed the board that the department recently purchased several body cameras for the officers at about $99 each with audio and visual capabilities. According to Walker, the officers would switch the cameras on when they left the car to use as a “really good backup.”
Alderman Gwin Anderson asked about using officers with over time instead of buying the cameras and suggested that the fines could possibly pay for the increase in payroll.
“I don’t like them,” said Anderson. “I don’t want to see them started here. It’s a slippery slope.”
The City of Dresden Attorney Beau Pemberton spoke on the issue as well. According to Pemberton, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law to prohibit companies from reporting to the credit bureaus, so the incentive to pay the tickets may be less than before. As far as regulating the speed, he suggested checking on the situation.
“We’re protecting children,” said Dresden Mayor Danny Forrester. “We’re not going to give you a mile over.” The board did not make any decision on having speed-monitoring cameras since the idea was just proposed during the meeting.
The board also narrowly passed Resolution 2013-01- Drainage Repairs, which was the response to the requests for assistance in repairing drainage problems on private and public properties within the city limits of Dresden. Mayor Forrester broke the tie to pass the resolution.
The aldermen are expecting to thoroughly discuss the resolution during the second reading. Public Works Director Kerry Cooper gave a Highway 118 light update, which passed the board. According to Cooper, this was tabled from last year, but there are new prices. The board also accepted the sealed bids on the cars that were sold.
The Condemnation Board met prior to the regular meeting to discuss the progress or lack thereof for certain properties.
• Evergreen Street Map 109 Parcel 8.02 – Mr. Pritchett stated that he needed to build a new shed before the rest of the contents can be moved. Forrester requested the asbestos be removed as well.
“It looks like it’s fixing to fall,” said Cooper. “I wouldn’t have gone in it.”
When asked about what was stored in the structure, Pritchett replied with “Junk, but I’d hate to throw anything away. I want to keep all of it.”
“This weather’s tough to get anything done,” said Forrester. “My recommendation is to table this until October, for 60 days. It will give you time to move everything.”
• 253 West Maple St. – The board was informed about the work that has been done to the property including new siding, windows and doors. That property was also tabled until October.
• 127 East Park St. – City Recorder Jennifer Branscum reported that the family who owns the property is from Michigan. Forrester recommended to “move forward” with condemnation on the property, and he informed the board that even after the process has started, the family can still come back. According to Forrester, the city has spent $250 in lawn care services on the property so far. The board approved to proceed with condemnation.
• 1056 Highway 118 – The board learned that the property had windows that were broken out and a back porch that had fallen in. Branscum reported all of her notifications sent via mail had been returned. The mayor said he suspected the neighbors have been mowing the yard. The board approved to move forward with condemnation.
• 224 N. Cedar – The board learned that, among other things, the roof had been repaired, windows had been installed, and the house had been painted. The board passed the motion to take the property off the review list and allow the code enforcement officer to keep up with it.
Published in The WCP 8.9.12