(Posted Feb. 8, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Following the heavy snowfall of a couple of weeks ago, London Mayor Patrick Closser took time at the Feb. 4 city council meeting to review the city’s priority list for clearing streets.
The street department first works on the main roads, such as Main and High streets, then moves to the streets that connect the main streets, such as Garfield and Park avenues. After that, they turn their attention to the residential streets, starting with the more heavily populated areas, including subdivisions that exit onto main roads and connectors. Next up are neighborhoods that use the same roads for exits and entrances. Last on the list are neighborhoods with dead end roads.
Closser said he received calls from residents wondering when their streets would be cleared and asking why some streets weren’t cleared to bare asphalt.
“You just have to bear with us,” Closser said. “We have a lot of roads and a lot of mileage in this city.”
The city has five street department employees and five trucks for clearing snow. The crew used 200 tons of salt in the recent snow event and traveled 2,300 miles in the course of clearing streets.
“I want to thank those guys. They’re up throughout the night. We’re rotating them in and out so we can get them home and get them sleep. We don’t want to work them too long. We don’t want any accidents to happen,” Closser said. “I think they did a good job for what was dropped on us and the resources we have.”
Closser encouraged city council to look into adding another truck to the street department fleet. Some of the existing vehicles experienced minor breakdowns. He also noted that Bill Long, street department superintendent, is seeking a rough estimate for replacing the city’s traffic lights with LEDs, which are easier to see, especially against bright white snow.
Council approved liquor permits for Konnichiwa Japanese Steak House & Sushi, located in the Eagleton shopping center off of Lafayette Street. A D-2 license will allow the restaurant to sell wine and mixed beverages for on-site consumption and carryout. A D-3 license will allow the business to sell spiritous liquor for on-site consumption only until 1 a.m.
Casey’s General Store is under construction on Keny Boulevard. Closser said the company hopes to have the store up and running in the next couple of months. Timing will depend on weather. Casey’s is a chain of convenience stores in the Midwestern and Southern United States. Headquartered in Iowa, the company operates more than 2,100 stores in 16 states.
Closser reported that he has met with Madison County and West Jefferson leaders regarding expansion and upgrades to sewer utilities to attract growth to the area. The county is working on upgrades at routes 42 and I-70. The city has hired an engineering firm to study sewer line capacity on the east side of London. Closser said the various area leaders are working together to “grow the county as a whole.”
The city has received several petitions from property owners asking that certain alleys be vacated, meaning the alleys would no longer be used for traffic. Public hearings are scheduled for the March 18 city council meeting for the following requests:
- vacation of the alley that runs parallel to Dwyer Chiropractic at 139 S. Main St., starting at the railroad tracks and ending behind the Dwyer Bros. warehouse at 149 S. Main St.;
- vacation of the alley behind London First United Methodist Church, between North Union and North Main streets;
- vacation of the alley behind London First United Methodist Church, running perpendicular to the alley mentioned above, running out to Fourth Street; and
- vacation of an alley that runs parallel to Virginia Avenue, between Columbia and Chandler avenues.