Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Council gets new parking ordinance moving again; one Eagle Scout project done, another scheduled

By Patrick Thompson
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications
Disagreement over the proposed ordinance concerning parking in Midway may have been resolved as the city council voted to revise the ordinance at Monday night’s meeting.

Among other business, the council heard reports on one Eagle Scout project and the scheduling of major work on another.

Council members discussed amending sections of the parking ordinance, which is intended to harmonize with the ordinance in Versailles to ease enforcement by Versailles police, who patrol all of Woodford County. Its first reading had been delayed because of questions raised by Council Member Joy Arnold.

Gratz Street was the primary focus of the meeting, and the council members made it clear that there needs to be a change on the street to fix a parking problem.

Motorists parking diagonally on Gratz can create a problem because they partially block the two-way street if they are reluctant to pull up to the curb.

“The problem on Gratz Street is that the cars, because they’re larger than the space or they don’t pull all the way up,” Council Member Dan Roller said. “The space itself meets the requirement, but because of the way people park it doesn’t meet the requirement.”

The curb in question is too high for a vehicle’s bumper to pull over it, so drivers risk damaging their vehicles if they pull up too far. However, if the vehicle isn’t pulled up far enough, it blocks the path of drivers on the street.

The council members debated suggestions to fix the situation.

Arnold said, “I think we need to maintain the requirement that there needs to be 10 feet from the center of the street to the end of the parked car. Also, I think we need to address the problem that currently exists not by removing that requirement in the ordinance, but by requiring that only compact cars park in those spaces.”

Arnold said erecting signs or painting stencils allowing only compact cars to park in those spaces would eliminate the problem because those vehicles would fit in the spaces. Large SUVs and trucks extend over the 10-foot mark, clogging traffic on the two-way road.

Roller agreed, but also suggested that the sidewalk on Gratz Street be reconstructed because it is larger than other sidewalks in the city.

City Attorney Phil Moloney suggested painting a line across the street end of each space. This would make it clear if a vehicle was parked in violation of the ordinance.

Arnold agreed with Moloney’s suggestion, and made a motion that stated, “The council will instruct the correct person to line the diagonal parking places on Gratz so that compact cars fit within the parking spaces.”

Mayor Tom Bozarth suggested that the corner of Gratz Street be marked with a “no parking” sign, so a parked vehicle wouldn’t obstruct a motorists’ line of sight.
Arnold agreed to add Bozarth’s suggestion as a friendly amendment, and the council voted unanimously to approve the motion. The revised ordinance is expected to get second reading and final passage at the next council meeting.

Other business

Eagle Scout William Borland was the guest at the meeting, and talked about his recently completed project for the community.

Borland cleaned nearly 400 headstones at St. Rose Tabernacle Cemetery and Sons and Daughters Cemetery. 

Borland said he used Dawn soap so that it wouldn’t damage the headstones, and scrubbed each grave by hand. When he was finished cleaning the headstones, he mapped out each grave for both cemeteries, and he took before and after pictures of the grave sites.

Council Member Doris Leigh, head of the council's Cemetery Committee, said it was special what the Eagle Scouts are doing for the community, and their efforts are appreciated.

Eagle Scout candidate Tim Hagan will build a dog park as his project. For the Messenger's earlier story on that, click here.
A work day for the dog park is scheduled for March 24 at 9 a.m. If it rains on that day, it will be rescheduled for the same time on March 31.

The dog park has received over $500 in donations so far, and volunteers are encouraged to come out to help construct the park by setting posts.

Council Member Sharon Turner presented a proposed new format for the monthly Midway Matters newsletter, which would contain information about the issues discussed at the council meetings, deadlines to submit information for discussion at each meeting, and other going-on in the city. A volunteer has offered to create the design.

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