(Posted Feb. 2, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Mount Sterling village council approved road closures for community events taking place in the downtown area this year.
Becky Martin, a Mount Sterling Chamber of Commerce member and a village council member, requested the following road closures at the Jan. 30 council meeting:
• Summer Jam–This annual Chamber of Commerce event is set for June 15-17. Martin requested roads be closed all of June 14 through 12 p.m. June 18.
• Fall Street Market and Car Show–This Chamber event will take place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 23. Martin requested roads be closed 9 a.m.-5 p.m. that day.
• Haunted House–Mount Sterling Masonic Lodge 269 will host their haunted house experience Oct. 27-29. On behalf of the lodge, Martin requested roads be closed from 10 a.m. Oct. 26 through 6 p.m. Oct. 29.
• Christmas in the Village–This Chamber event is set for 4-8 p.m. Dec. 2. Martin requested roads be closed 2-9 p.m. that day.
Martin also mentioned the Independence Day parade, set for 10 a.m. July 4. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office will direct a rolling roadblock for the event. Council approval is not needed.
Council approved the road closure requests with a 5-0 vote. Council member Joyce Phillips, who has expressed concern about the closures in the past, was not present at the meeting.
Prior to the vote, Mayor Marci Darlington and council member Andy Drake asked if more discussion was needed based on feedback from residents and churches in the downtown area. Drake said he received feedback last year about traffic routing, signage, and timing of the road closures. He said he wants to be sure residents and churches are impacted as little as possible and have the parking they need.
Martin said that two years ago, the Sheriff’s Office started routing traffic in a one-way pattern around the two- and three-day events. She said signage is posted regarding the alternate routes; it’s up to the Sheriff’s Office to make sure people follow the routes. She also said she has talked to representatives of one of the churches and reports they are not concerned.
Martin said she will invite church representatives to event planning meetings.
“If there’s anything that can be altered to help them, we would definitely consider that,” she said.
Darlington suggested the village send letters with the road closure information to residents and others located in the event areas. Drake suggested the information be posted on the village website.