With school now back in session, it is that time of year that the streets near the local schools are becoming more congested with traffic.
Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland recently addressed concerns during village council's meeting Sept. 8 regarding street parking near the West Elementary and the Newcomerstown Middle School. He is asking for the community's cooperation so that potential accidents can be avoided.
Holland said the West Elementary School currently has no parking restrictions on Beaver Street, thus individuals are parking on both sides of the street which is causing a narrow passage for traffic. It is a concern that students or other individuals crossing the street could potentially be injured as a result of the parking issue.
Meanwhile, he said the middle school also has a similar problem with individuals parking in front of the River Street entrance causing narrow passage for traffic. This site is particularly a problem due to the four-way intersection nearby. He said there is a parking restriction at this location and that driver's should be complying by not parking there, even temporarily for a few minutes. The street department will be repainting the yellow strip on the curb which has reportedly faded. Holland said there is a sign posted that states no parking permitted and anyone not complying would be in violation.
Holland said he will be meeting with the street committee to take the Beaver Street issue to advisory. The plan is to have a parking restriction on the west side of Beaver Street during school days between the times of 7:30 to 9 a.m., and 2:30 to 3 p.m.
Other business discussed included:
* Council member Sue Simmons gave an update on the police department's K-9 program. She said the program now has about $500 but still needs additional funds to maintain.
* Village Solicitor Shawn Lindsay said he had found no current zoning or height restrictions regarding an earlier request to place a banner on Main Street for the Newcomerstown Public Library levy. He did note that banners or signs cannot be attached to or impede the operation of a traffic signal or block any stop signs. Mayor Steve Guy will follow up with Ray Booth who had requested the banner placement on behalf of the public library.
* Mayor Guy received a letter from Joe Bachman of the Tuscarawas County Engineers reporting the state is requiring an updated load and resistance rating report to be completed for all bridges in Tuscarawas County. The county will complete ratings on bridges that they are in ownership of, however, the village owns the bridge on west Neighbor Street and will be responsible for having the rating completed at their own expense.
* Council later entered a 30-minute executive session to discuss personnel and finances per the request of council member Burris Gardner. No action reported.
* Council later approved the modified completion date of Oct. 15 for the resurfacing project.
* Council also approved a contract with Morton Salt for 200 tons of road salt at $59.24 per ton. Total cost of $11,848. Street Superintendent J.R. Simmons clarified that he would only be using what is needed of the 200 tons, but that the village would need to agree to a contracted amount of 200 tons. They could not be guaranteed any additional road salt if more were needed during the winter season. Council members voiced concern of the contracted amount and cost due to the street department's funds currently being in a negative status.
* Chief Holland also reported that he has information ready to proceed with the plans for Mayor's Court to be implemented soon.
Council's next meeting is Sept. 20.