Discussion never slow when speeding topic in Fox Chase

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 FOX CHASE – What to do with speeding motorists has long been a concern for members of the Fox Chase City Council.

     Most recently, some less obvious efforts have apparently worked to at least slow down some of the speeders.

     Mayor Bill Broughton said Sussex Drive seemed to be the hotbed of lead-footed motorists. But in the past month, he said the complaints have been fewer.

     In speaking with sheriff David Greenwell, the mayor asked if deputies patrolling the area might make a few more trips through the city.

     One question the previous month dealt with was residents getting a license plate number and taking it to the police or the county attorney’s office.

     City attorney Mark Edison said that really wouldn’t do a lot in district court.

     A law enforcement official must see the person violating the law to issue a citation, said Edison.

     A resident with simply a license plate number may not be able to get a criminal complaint filed. A picture of the driver would help the case, he added.

     Just because you know the person the vehicle is registered to, Edison said that doesn’t mean that person is actually driving.

     Councilman Mike Higgins said after the May meeting he actually talked to a few residents whose vehicle may have matched the description of the speeders.

     He said it was a pleasant conversation and he only wanted to alert them that there had been some concerns over the speeding.

     He also sent out a single sheet reminder to all the residents about the dangers of speeding.

     Councilmember Sandy Osborne said it is often the adults who are guilty of speeding, not the younger drivers.

     Councilman Rocky Comito thought the flyer sent out was an excellent idea and maybe the city should do that occasionally on its letterhead.

     Broughton said the situation will be monitored and there are options available to consider if the problems arise.

     Another suggestion to be studied would be the installation of more speed limit signs and also placing them on both sides of the post. Currently, the speed limit signs are seen only when motorists enter the city.

     Resident Sandy Higgins said she had noticed the sheriff’s deputies in the city.

     She also wanted the council to pass an ordinance forbidding the town board from making any alterations to the roads without first holding a public hearing.

     The example cited was when the council voted to install speed humps to deal with speeding. That was later changed after the residents protested.

     She said that was done without the community’s knowledge.

     Edison said that he didn’t know how much good the ordinance would do since the next council could alter or repeal the ordinance.

     Councilman David Selby felt there would not be any problems with the current council on notifying the public on what is happening.

     In other business:

     *Selby said the handheld radios provided to Broughton and himself were working well.

     The radios were part of the city’s homeland security program to provide better communication in time of disaster.

     As the emergency coordinator for the city, Selby is the keeper of the emergency first aid kits assembled several years ago. Some of the items have passed their expiration date and have been destroyed.

     Selby said the other items remain in the kits.

     The disaster team is also formulating a list of residents who might have special medical needs, such as oxygen, during an emergency.

     Broughton did have a request from a resident who was concerned that someone gathering medical information also presented them with a petition asking the city’s homeowners association to hold a meeting.

     The mayor said he felt it wasn’t good to have a person speaking on behalf of a city matter and also a homeowners association.

     Edison said the city has nothing to do with the homeowners group, which is required to meet annually and is also in charge of certain building-related matters.

     Getting the homeowners association to hold its meeting is not the responsibility of the city council, said Edison.

     While talking about the homeowners group, the issue of nuisances arose.

     Mike Higgins spoke in depth about an abandoned home on Hickory Hollow.

     Edison said the city nuisance ordinance could address some issues.

     For example, he would write a letter to the current property owner and give that person 14 days to address the concerns. In this situation, tall grass and weeds were part of the concern. Other issues inside the home, such as evidence that vagrants had been staying there overnight, is not something the city can address, said Edison.

     Thanks to changes by the legislature, the city can cut the grass and place a lien on the property. When sold, the city’s lien would be second in line to be paid.

     *Higgins and Broughton said they would take care of a broken bracket on one of the street signs.

     It would require a new piece but shouldn’t be more than $55.

     *Broughton said plants had been replaced at the city entrance signs and the work looked very good.

     Councilmember Lois Whitis and a group of volunteers will do some trimming at the entrances.

     The council will also look at a proposal to replace the landscape timbers.

     A decision on the concrete borders will be made at the July meeting.

     *Jenny Estepp, new executive director of the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the city officials to be part of the activities hosted by the organization.

     She offered the Chamber’s assistance whenever needed and hoped the officials would attend the various functions.

     The next meeting of the Fox Chase City Council will be on Tuesday, July 9, at 7 p.m. in the Larry Belcher Community Room of Jewish Hospital Medical Center South. The public is invited to attend.