Public voices concerns over traffic at Monday's city council meeting

Friday, October 5, 2012

Two concerns over traffic coming into Alta were addressed at the Alta City council meeting Monday night during the public forum.

Keith Geyer said he would like to see the speed limit sign coming into town "moved a notch to the west" so that the traffic is slowed down when they get to the city limits. As it is now, he said, the traffic is still moving quite fast when it gets to the speed limit sign right at the city of Alta sign.

He also is concerned that truck jake brakes, which are forbidden in the city limits, are not being enforced.

He reminded the council that there was a fatality at the intersection of M31 and Highway 7 back in the early 1970s and he would hate to see another because of the high speeds coming up over the hill by his residence.

He added that he checked with the state DOT on this several years ago and he was told that by request of the city, the signs could be moved. BV County Sheriff Gary Launderville said that is no longer that simple. The state DOT would want to do a traffic study and then make a decision.

The Sheriff added that his deputies have tried to enforce the area but have not seen any offenders during the time they are patrolling.

Council member Ron Chapman suggested Mayor Rob Neulieb contact the DOT and see what can be done. The mayor was asked to report back to the council.

Leland Zylstra brought up another concern of people speeding while coming into town on the gravel at 580th Street, also on the west side of town. He said his wife did her own count one day and saw 17 of 26 vehicles fly off the gravel and onto the hard surface at Lelander Street.

"Something has to be done out there. It's inevitable something could happen out there," he said, concerned for kids getting on and off the school bus by the trailer park.

After some discussion, the council agreed that $45 for a stop sign is an expense they don't mind spending if it will provide a safer area for the kids of Alta.

The stop sign will be put up as the road turns from gravel to pavement.

The council heard reports from city departments.

Raquel Nelson, director of the Alta Community Library, told the board that she will be resigning Nov. 1 as she is having a baby. A new director is being looked for.

Sheriff Launderville told the council that the BV County Board of Supervisors approved the law enforcement agreement between the county and the City of Alta at a recent meeting. The agreement was discussed at last month's council meeting as well since there was only one year left of the three-year contract. The council said they were very happy with the arrangement and wanted to renew it. The new law enforcement contract between the county and the city will run through October of 2016.

He added that there has been a lot more drug cases and arrests in Alta and it is good to get those cleaned up.

Code Enforcement Officer Tom Konradi discussed dangerous buildings in the community and the abatement process.

"We have a couple buildings that are dangerous and one we've abated (at 117 Main Street). We're pursuing some options and finding out what is best for the city without running up a big tab for the city," he said.

Council member Brian Walsh said, "we need to move forward. That building is a danger and an eye sore. We need to show them that we mean business."

Tearing the building down is an option if it can be obtained which could be costly.

"I don't like seeing us spend money but it is an eye sore," he said.

Megan Peterson of the park board said there is concern about when the city pool should open. It is always the goal to open it by Memorial Day weekend but there are often maintenance issues; this year there was a water line break that caused a delay in opening. It was suggested that the cleaning by the city workers begin earlier so that if there are issues they can be addressed sooner and the pool can open on time.

It is important, said Peterson, to get the pool open so that they don't lose potential customers to neighboring pools that are open.

Walsh told Brad Pedersen he should make sure to have his summer help in place sooner so that the maintenance of the pool can be tended to sooner.

The park board has been busy, Peterson said. Board members, coaches and parents recently cleaned out the equipment shed and discovered old equipment that needs to be replaced. It may be a large expense but such things as safer helmet for the players are needed.

She added that the concession stand do not profit as well this year and that will be addressed by the park board on how to make it better next year.

The park board currently has only three members and they would like to see that number brought up to five. In order to do so, the council had to put in a new ordinance. The first reading of the ordinance was completed Monday night. The second reading will take place next month and the council will waive the third reading to put the ordinance in effect.

Four old sirens have been taken down and two new and improved ones, made available in part through grant monies received from the Buena Vista county community Grant program, have replaced them. One siren is located near the football field and the other at the fire station.