Blanchester council discusses Dewey parking, Columbus St. speed

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — Two ordinances are still up for further discussion by local officials.

At Thursday’s Blanchester Village Council meeting, the two would-be new ordinances faced scrutiny from locals and village officials

Parking at Dewey

If it had been approved, an ordinance regarding Dewey Memorial Park parking lot would prohibit locals from parking their vehicles there for more than 24 consecutive hours between 6 a.m. Monday and 6 p.m. Friday — excluding holidays. If violated, motorists would be ticketed and have their vehicle towed.

After Mayor John Carman read the ordinance, Tom Lee, President of Blanchester Parks and Recreation, told Carman and council this wasn’t the ordinance the Park Board had suggested to them.

“We talked about 48 hours (for parking). There are residents who live there and park there overnight. How are we going to give them decals or anything to protect them from being ticketef?” said Lee.

Carman told Lee he had the impression they parked in an adjacent lot, but Lee reiterated that they park in the Dewey parking lot, too.

Councilmember Chad Hollon said that if residents park there at night it’s not an issue. But on Monday morning, they couldn’t be parked there for 24 consecutive hours. Carman thought that as long as the resident goes to work, then it wouldn’t be an issue. But Lee didn’t believe it would work.

“We never had any meetings or discussions about this,” said Lee. “The last thing we talked about was 48 hours (parking limit) and maybe having a sticker for the residents to come up here and purchase … so it could be put on their car. So that if (the police) drive through that lot looking to ticket it, and it’s a resident’s car with a sticker on it, he doesn’t have to worry about that car.”

Carman advised the ordinance they had was the one given to them from Village Solicitor Andrew McCoy, but Lee said he’s never seen the ordinance the council had and that he was “never invited to one meeting about the ordinance.”

Councilmember Cindy Sutton also told Carman she never saw the ordinance before the meeting. Councilmember Reilly Hopkins recommended to Carman that the ordinance be tabled so that they could discuss it later.

Speed on Columbus

Council held the first reading of an ordinance that would increase the speed limit on Columbus Street — between Pansy Pike and Center Street — from 25 miles per hour to 35. This suggestion came after a recommendation from Blanchester Safety Committee and police.

Wayne Clifton, Streets Department Supervisor, objected to it, citing that there no accidents occurring on the road and expressed concerns about the increased speed zone which would be adjacent to Putman Elementary School.

“If anything, I’d lower it,” said Clifton.

Hollon said that the street isn’t a school zone, and Baldwin Street is. But Clifton advised school buses stop in the area with Hollon retorting that “school buses stop all over the county.”

“Whether people are breaking the speed limit is another issue altogether,” said Hollon. “I think (the speed limit) needs to be higher, myself. I think it’s ridiculously slow down there, to begin with.”

During the public comment section, Peter Kieffer, who resides at the corner of Baldwin and Columbus Streets, voiced his concerns about the increase.

“The speed limit may be 25 but (drivers) fly up and down 40, 50 miles per hour. I don’t let any animals outside anymore. I’ve had three cats and one dog killed on that street and I’d hate to see what would happen if a kid would run out in that street,” said Kieffer.

Also during council:

• Tom Lee of Parks and Rec told the council their trailer had been stolen from the ballpark sometime over the past weekend and someone “cut the locks on all the gas tanks.” Lee advised they had filed a police report and will look into possibly putting cameras around the location. Lee also said he would discuss with the BPA about possibly putting in lights in the area.

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574