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Coleman Board Declines Reduced Speed Petition

Bob Blackbourn came to the Coleman Village Board meeting on Monday, Feb. 6 with a petition asking them to reduce the speed limit on Meadowwood Drive from 25 to 15 miles per hour. He said many children live, visit and play on that 2-block street, and after witnessing a near accident decided to see if he could make it safer.

Former Village Trustee Jim Karban, who also lives in that subdivision, was not in favor of the reduced speed limit.

After some discussion the board agreed to post "Caution - Children At Play" signs in the neighborhood, and ask Police Chief Ida Soletske to do some patrolling there, but not reduce the speed limit. The motion to deny the reduced speed limit for now included a provision that they will review the decision in four months.

During time for public comment on the petition Blackbourn said he had ben advised he should come to the board with a petition, and had gotten all 10 residents to sign it. Village President Glenn Woulf then called him and said since the reduced speed limit would affect not only the residents but everyone who regularly uses the street, he should talk to them as well.

Blackbourn said there are 47 houses in the subdivision, but one is vacant and one has owners who were gone for the winter, which left 45, and he talked to all of them. He said one owner did not care, another declined to sign because he is on the Village Board, and three were opposed. Of the 45 possible signers, 40 signed the petition in favor of the reduced speed limit.

There was an objection that 15 mph is too slow, and Blackbourn said he had driven the street at 15 mph and at 25 mph and there is a 13-second difference.

Blackbourn said Ken Stodola had suggested if the speed limit is 25, people will go 35, so if it is 15, they may still go 25, "but at least it's slower." There is a 15 mph speed limit on Sunset Lane.

He only knew of one incident where a lady was backing out of her driveway and had her rear bumper hit before she could pull back in when she saw the car coming. There seems to be no accident history, "But I don't think we need to wait for someone to get hurt," he added.

He had been advised to talk to the speeders, because they generally know everyone who lives and drives there, and did chew one out. He thought it helped, and felt just having the issue brought up and mentioned in the paper will help.

He said if more streets want to speak up for slower speeds, "that's a good thing - that's public safety," but he would not start any more petitions.

He hoped he had not made any enemies by petitioning for the reduced speed, and added, "I respect their right to disagree with this, and I hope they respect the rights of the 40 people who signed the petition."

Karban pointed out that 25 mph is the most common speed limit everywhere. The limits are 15 mph in round-a-bouts and school zones, when children are present. He said Meadowwood is a dead end street and he has never seen an accident in his 40 years of living there.

"How many streets are you going to make 15mph?" he asked. He said he had talked to everybody who makes deliveries in the village, and they all suggested if someone is going too fast, "talk to them." He said one of the delivery drivers told him if the speed is cut to 15 mph, "Get somebody else to deliver".I haven't got time for that!"

Karban said he had signed the petition, but now has second thoughts. "The problem isn't with the speed limit or the signs, it's with the speeders," he declared.

"I feel we're moving too quickly," commented Trustee Jessie Parker. "If there's a problem, talk to (Police Chief) Ida (Soletske). There never have been any complaints." He felt there will be fewer speeders if they know they're being watched, and the board should take other steps before they resort to cutting the speed limit.

Trustee Nancy Stank said she lives near the Catholic Church on Co. B, which is Main Street. "Cars were going by there really fast. We talked to the police chief, she issued a few tickets, and you wouldn't believe how traffic has slowed down."

Trustee Diane Patz said she would trade places with the Meadowwood Drive residents. "I live on Cougar Ball Park Road and everybody who drives there goes over 25."

Stank agreed everyone is driving too fast, and suggested caution children signs instead of speed limit signs. She also suggested reviewing the petition request in four months.

"I hope you don't lose sight of the fact that 90 percent of the people who live there want it,' Blackbourn commented.

"I'm not saying never do it, but first, let Ida patrol it" Trustee Dave Podoski commented. Parker said if Ida gives one ticket, "word will get around."

Municipal Judge Clifford Patz, from the audience, said in his 10 years on the bench, he does not recall a single ticket being issued other than for traffic on County B or CP (Business 141). He knows since tickets were issued on County B, traffic has slowed way down and the complaints are down.

Motion was unanimously approved to post Caution Children signs, ask Ida to patrol, and revisit the issue in four months. There were suggestions if someone sees a particular vehicle causing problems they have to say something.

Woulf proposed contracting with Cedar Corp to get assistance in preparing a "Gold Shovel Ready" posting on the internet to promote business sites in the village. Woulf noted they are trying to promote three properties as an industrial park.

The properties involved are at the interchange north of the commercial area of Sado Lane along Sunset Drive, and east of the railroad tracks along MacArthur Drive.

Cedar Corp's contract proposal is to gather the information and post it for $2,500 for one site or $4,000 for two, with the bank site included with one of them. There lso would be a one-time fee of $500 for listing on the New North Gold Shovel web site through MCABI. A Gold Shovel listing requires the properties to be ready for industrial/commercial development or construction, with needed services in place, maps, brochures, and information on clearances and utility locations identified. "I think we have to do something if we want to grow," Woulf declared.

Gosa said Ann Hartnell of MCABI had said she would set them up on the site for $1,800. Woulf said they are going to meet with her again.

Trustee Tim Gould said the $5,000 total "is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but at least if Thad comes and answers our questions we will have answers for people out in the community."

The board agreed to have Thad Majewski from Cedar Corp attend their next meeting to explain just what they would do for the price, and what the we site listing would look like.

Stank, as Finance Committee chair, said the final budget transfers for 2016 were "a wash," now that all the numbers are in. The report for year end journal entries was approved without dissent.

Woulf said Majewski is coming to the next Utility meeting to discuss work that needs to be done on Meadowwood Drive.

There were two building permits issued in January, one to Jim Heyroth to remodel the kitchen at 335 Elm Drive for approximately $3,000, and the other to Curt Tisler to install new windows at 150 Victor Street.

Building Inspector Dennis Gross reported in addition to the usual building permits he had inspected the garage at 220 W. Main on Tuesday, Jan. 3, and on the same date he went to 232 N. Louis Street where the owner had questions about wetlands in the village. On Monday, Jan. 23 he answered some questions an individual had about putting up a portable shed.

Police report shows there were 25 complaints in January. There were 29 adult citations issued for a total of $6,,053 and 16 juvenile citations for a total of $2,992. No court was held in January.

Podoski, who also is Fire Chief, reported the department responded to one call in January, which was a carbon monoxide alarm that involved eight man-hours. There was CPR training in January, as well as personnel training on the pumper.

Podoski said plans are being discussed for a meat raffle to be held at Fortier's on Sunday, April 2, and for the Fireman's Picnic to be held Friday and Saturday, July 14 and 15.


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