By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times
The Eupora Board of Aldermen has approved an initial traffic regulation measure in response to complaints about traffic problems on Clark and Fox avenues.
Rich Castle of 145 N. Gold St. and Craig Bjorgum of 195 Clark Ave. appeared before the mayor and board about the matter Monday night. Castle presented the board with a petition signed by all residents except one in the Gold Street/Clark Avenue/West Fox Avenue area, and said they were representing all those who signed it.
The petitioners requested that stop signs be placed on Clark Avenue at Gold Street and at the one-way alley exit beside the Eupora High School parking lot, and that a “Do Not Enter” sign be placed at the Clark Street end of that alley.
They also requested that stop signs be placed on West Fox Avenue at both the Gold and Holman Street intersections, which are the respective locations of First Baptist and First United Methodist churches.
“I believe it’ll bring some safety and order to our neighborhood,” Castle said.
He and Bjorgum said many drivers are speeding and texting on Clark Avenue, mainly before after school. Bjorgum asked about the possibility of reducing the speed limit on the street.
“We’re here because it’s unsafe,” said Castle.
After some discussion, Hugh Gibson (Ward 3) made a motion to table the matter until the mayor, any available aldermen, police chief and a school official could meet and “determine what’s in the best interest of the people.” The motion died for lack of a second.
The board then approved a motion by Jerry Gary (at-large), seconded by Junior Shaw (Ward 1), to erect three-way stop signs at Clark Avenue and Gold Street (in addition to the stop sign already on Gold Street at the intersection). The motion passed with three “aye” votes by Gary, Shaw and Howard Rumore (Ward 2). Gibson abstained and Robert Gibbs (Ward 4) was absent.
The board also approved a motion to table consideration of placing stop signs at the other intersections listed in the petition until its next regular meeting on Nov. 4. Before then, Mayor Dan Burchfield, available aldermen and Police Chief Gregg Hunter plan to walk the area in question around 2:45 p.m. one day to assess the situation during school traffic.
In another traffic-related matter tabled from Oct. 7, aldermen voted to construct an asphalt speed bump on West Clark Street halfway between Noel Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
They also voted to move the rubber speed bumps on South Dunn Street that are just north of the Meadowlane intersection further south to approximately the Cedar Avenue intersection, and to construct an asphalt speed bump at the existing location of the rubber speed bumps, which were donated to the city.
Following discussion with Webster County Fire Coordinator Barry Rushing, the board voted to offer a 1980 model fire truck to Webster County in exchange for the acquisition of a $50,000 grant that is being held by the state fire marshal’s office for the Walthall Fire Department to go toward the purchase of a new fire truck.
Planner George Crawford of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District met with aldermen concerning the city’s Community Development Block Grant for lagoon stabilization.
The board approved two related motions: one to advertise for engineer selection on the project and the other to advertise that the lagoon is in a floodplain and accept public comment on the notification.
Burchfield reported that the city’s application for a $150,000 Small Municipalities Grant to repave a section of Waterworks Road had been turned down. He also said USDA Rural Development had denied an application written by Stone Adams Financial Partners on behalf of the city for a $75,000 grant to conduct a market feasibility study of the former Garan Manufacturing property.
In other business Monday, the board voted to:
• table discussion of hiring a night police dispatcher.
• allow the blocking off of Main Street between Roane and Clark avenues for Trunk or Treat on Oct. 1 and the Christmas Market on Dec. 7.
• buy two banners promoting the Christmas Market out of the economic development fund for the express purpose of advertising the city, through reimbursement of the mayor.
• accept Steven Beaird’s donation of a new POW/MIA flag to replace the one by the Community Center.
The board recessed until 5 p.m. today to consider the hiring of a full-time deputy clerk.