Amy Achs, AP Erie Correspondent
The August Village of Erie Board meeting was held at the fire department as the Village Hall is full of history of Erie memorabilia for the 150th Sesquicentennial celebrations. Among items discussed were changes to increase traffic safety around the downtown triangle.
With growing concern about traffic safety around the town triangle area. changes were approved to the traffic signage and speed limits in the triangle. Discussion centered around the 30 MPH speed limit, confusion on the traffic pattern/one ways, and confusion on the village truck routes.
The village trustees approved changing three stop sign configurations by having stop sign islands built out for better visibility on Main Street entering from the west, near Shaheen’s Grocery Store, from the south, by the post office, and lastly, building out and changing the yield sign on the one-way in front of the Hair Center and Harvest Bakery & More to a stop sign. The changes will be started in the fall with the goal to make the triangle safer and to slow down traffic.
Ideas that will be looked into further include: lowering the speed limit in the town triangle as defined by the snow removal routes, possibly adding speed bumps in the triangle area, increased and improved truck route signage, and changing yield signs to stop signs in a few key areas in town. The last improvement to be discussed in more detail is concerning the traffic pattern where Main Street, Rt. 2, 16th Avenue and Lakeside Drive all converge.
The Margaret Park updates are complete. After a lot of hard work by the public works department, contractors, and a final push with some Revitalize Erie volunteers, the transformation is complete. One of the main reasons for the total transformation cannot even be seen because electric and water lines needed to be updated along with the lighting, sidewalks, benches, and new sod not to mention the amazing, refurbished historical fountain as the centerpiece. There is a problem with the electronic sign in the brick wall of the park. Discussion ended with looking into the cost to replace it versus trying to repair it because the company the village originally purchased it from is no longer in business. The plaque at the back of the brick wall will be replaced with a metal version.
The new “All Roads Lead to Erie” signage is up welcoming residents and guests into town. The landscaping around the base of the signs will be started when Revitalize Erie has had a chance to fundraise to cover the expense. The goal is to start this fall.
- Business district moving forward – Unanimous approval for an ordinance establishing the Erie Business Plan, approving business district plan, authorizing the impositions and collections of sales tax within the business district; and approving certain actions in connection with the establishment of such business district. This will allow the village to move forward in collecting a 1% sales tax increase starting January 1st.
- Unanimous approval for Police Chief Brian Hawk to purchase and test a body camera for the SRO officer. The cameras come at vastly different price points so testing a cheaper version now will help determine what the department goes with when the state mandate is enforced in 2025.
- Unanimous approval to purchase an Alcohol Breath Tester – A new RBT breath tester needs to replace what the department currently has as they are old and not admissible in court. Currently officers have to take people to Morrison or Fulton to be tested. The new machine is a portable unit that can be kept in the back of a squad car and used on the side of the road. The cost is $3,795.00.
- The final terms for Katelin Bridgman’s contract to work for the village were approved unanimously.
- Approval to move forward with amending ordinance 4-41 of Village Code to adopt the 2015 edition of the life safety code. The current code is out of date (2000) and this needs to be updated. The new ordinance will update to the 2015 edition and then automatically update whenever changes are made to keep from having to make new ordinances each time. It will be ready to vote on next month.
- Unanimous Approval was given to move forward with the vacation of 13th Avenue to Rod Cady. The next step is to obtain a vacation plat. The neighboring property owner has been included in the discussions and an easement for their use will be part of the agreement.
The TIF District is moving forward with Katelin Bridgman assisting a developer and their investors. The investors have purchased two parcels of land within the TIF district boundaries that are optimal for residential development. They are in the process of surveying, planning for lot sizes, and assessing values to bring to the engineer the village has hired. They hope to begin construction of condominiums in the spring.
Brian Hawk, Police Chief- there were 92 calls this month. Officers Barger and Garrison are successfully continuing their training. SRO officer Frank Hopes has completed his master firearms instructor certification and has been in the schools. National Night Out was a great event, and everyone had a good time with about 200 people in attendance.
Public Works Report
Joel Papineau, Public Works Supervisor – reported that road work is about to start. After consulting with the engineers, 6th street will start with replacing sidewalks and the road way. Once that is completed the parking areas will be asphalted.
Adding a sidewalk on 5th Ave. from Main Street to the middle school was discussed. This has been something that has been looked into before and solutions are being sought. A cost-efficient option may be to create a bike lane that acts as a sidewalk as well. The obstacles include the expense and that the logical side of the road that the sidewalk would connect to in front of the school is also a main conduit for power lines, water lines, etc.
E-waste disposal for Erie residents will be Saturday, September 24th from 9-11 AM at the village water treatment/sewer plant.
The next village board meeting is September 13, 2022 at 6:00 PM in the Village Hall.