Valleyview cuts down on speedsters

Valleyview residents will have an opportunity to give the village council their views on lowering the speed limit on inner streets and alleys and on standards for trash disposal.

These topics are contained in two of the ordinances that were presented at the council meeting July 2. Council also adopted the budget, approved the appointment of a deputy marshal, and praised the community for its work on the clean-up day.

Mayor Tom Watkins offered ordinances that would drop the speed limit to 15 miles an hour on all streets and alleys except Hague and Valleyview and to outlaw plastic bags as waste containers on trash days.

Both had been proposed as emergency ordinances, which means second and third readings could be waived and the measures voted on at that meeting.

However, the city solicitor and comment from council prevented them from moving forward.

“I’ve driven the streets at 15, 25 and 20 miles an hour and feel 15 is a safe speed,” Watkins said in proposing the lower speed limit for the safety of residents. “There are more children here than I ever remember.”

Council member Ron Hays said he wanted to hear from the public and added, “I have a five-year-old who loves the alley” behind their home.

From the audience, John Hellwege added “I have a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old and I’m trying to teach them to look both ways. How fast do you need to get to Hague and Valleyview?”

Council member Marzia Helton said “People need to be notified and (offered time to) comment. If the majority doesn’t want the speed limit reduced, that’s the voice of the people.”

Council will also hear from the public on the ordinance to set standards for waste disposal. As written, the ordinance defines refuse container as a watertight, insect-proofed container of durable materials that animals can’t get into.

An acceptable waste container does not include a plastic bag, the ordinance said. It further said that use of plastic bags alone is prohibited.

However, residents can put trash in a plastic bag and then put the plastic bag in a container to await pick up.

Information on both of these ordinances is available at the village administration building and comment will be taken at the next meeting the first Monday in August.

The meeting began with a budget hearing during which time Watkins explained the budget for the coming fiscal year.

Watkins pointed out that the village spent $142,032 in 2005 and $192,788 in 2006. Projected spending for 2007 is $268,185.

“That’s not actually what we will spend, that’s what we have to spend,” he said.

Figures for 2008 reflect a three percent increase across the board, with $276,231 projected as expenditures.

Big items on the horizon for the year are a new garage and a new truck and perhaps a new mower, clerk Barb Schwartz said.

One increase in spending over the past year has been fuel prices, Schwartz said.

“I’ve got to move money within the fund” to cover those expenses, she said. “The resolution will come.”

“We bumped it up some, but didn’t anticipate gas going up a dollar-fifty a gallon,” Watkins said. “We figured a seventy-seven cent increase.”

The budget was approved without comment during the meeting that followed the hearing.

Council members also approved a resolution to appoint Joshua H. Detter as a probationary part-time deputy marshal retroactive to July 1. He has been on the force in Valleyview for a year, but has extensive law enforcement experience in South Bloomfield and other departments.

Watkins also proclaimed the June 30 clean-up day a success.

“We filled one 40-yard Dumpster and a third of a 30-yard Dumpster,” he said.

He also had praise for Dave Murphy, whom he identified as a non-resident, who worked throughout the day.

Hellwege said Murphy owns property in the village, but doesn’t live there.

Helton was also appreciative of the community turnout for that day, saying she hadn’t seen that many residents come out since she has been on council.

Schwartz said the village audit for 2004-2005 had been received and was available for public viewing at the administration building.

“We had only one recommendation, other than that, it was perfectly clean,” he said as council members and audience broke into applause.

The community hog roast will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 28. Helton suggested that instead of a 50-50 raffle that bicycles be raffled off because of the large number of children in the village.

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