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City council updates vehicle, traffic ordinance

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven City Council adopted updates to its vehicle and traffic ordinance, including prohibiting left turns from Spring Street onto Bellefonte Avenue.

The updates were approved in a 6-1 vote with Councilman Steve Stevenson voting against the ordinance. Stevenson said he voted “no” due to the no left turns onto Bellefonte Avenue.

Before the vote, Stevenson presented his concerns regarding the proposed update.

“I needed to argue about or express my opinion, which I did the first time, about council making decisions about traffic flows without it being in your wheel houses,” he said.

Stevenson spoke about his concerns regarding the change to traffic flow in the area. With the proposed no-left turn, motorists will be direct to turn left onto Stone Alley toward the traffic light at the intersection of Commerce Street and Bellefonte Avenue.

Among his concerns was the increased traffic flow down the alley and the issue large trucks would have using the alley.

“I saw a small truck trying to turn left there, not a 53-footer, but a smaller one and it could not make the turn. So it means any delivery trucks that go out to Bellefonte Avenue won’t be able to make a left-hand turn and then, when it turns right where’s it going to turn around and go the other way,” he said.

He also spoke about the increase of traffic affecting the pedestrian crossing to Lock Haven University and cost of signs, posts and labor involved in properly signaling the change to motorists.

He also noted that the change came after one person approached Mayor Joel Long about the turn.

“You only had one person ask about it. That’s not quite enough, there should be a petition or 20 people,” he said. “Like the red light when we proposed to take that down on Hanna Street. The local people down there objected that and we reversed our decision and changed our mind.”

No further discussion was made regarding the left-turn.

Other amendments to the ordinance included:

— The establishment of a speed limit on First Quality Drive and enforcement of no parking along the roadway.

— No parking at anytime in areas where new fire hydrants have been relocated by PennDOT.

— No parking at city parks from dusk until dawn everyday. Wilson told council the city’s police department requested the amendment due to continued problems in these areas.

Council followed adopting the amendment with a resolution, enacting the changes immediately.

City Manager Gregory Wilson explained some of the updates will become enforced as signage is put in place.

“As soon as the sign goes up enforcement starts,” he said.

In other business council:

— Appointed Burchart Horn to provide architectural services for a feasibility study at City Hall at a cost of $9,960.

— Heard a presentation from Public Works Director Tony Stopper about an intersection review in the south hill district. Stopper said signs would be moved at certain intersections to provide better visibility.

— Authorized the request for proposals for the 2021 borrowing package.

— Considered approving an ordinance to update the city’s contract with Comcast for its services. Wilson said council will have to adopt the ordinance at a future meeting before it is sent to Comcast for final review.

— Increased the rate of pay for part-time relief fire drivers to $11.49 per hour from its previous $9.41.

— Authorized to request proposals for city solicitor. Wilson told council he reached out to the city’s current solicitor, Coploff, Ryan and Houser, and encouraged them to submit a proposal. He said the proposals are done every few years to ensure the city is getting a fair price for services. He noted the city deals with other law firms for specific cases as well but the solicitor serves as general council.

All members of council were present for Monday night’s meeting held in council chambers and via livestream on the city’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

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