The Burns Harbor
Town Council voted not to remove a stop sign at Burns Boulevard in the
Village Subdivision at its meeting last night, opting instead to try other
Property Owner’s Association sent a letter to the Town recently, with the
support of Police Chief Mike Heckman, requesting the removal of a stop sign
that was installed a couple years ago at a T-intersection in the Village on
Burns Boulevard. According to Assistant Police Chief Jeremy McHargue’s
memory, the stop sign was installed following an accident where a bus was
rear-ended. Town Council Vice-president Eric Hull said the Village residents
had requested its installation at the time, also in part due to speeding.
Hull reported the
stop sign is ineffective and has even become a hazard because the
neighborhood wasn’t designed to have a stop sign there. Motorists often
don’t stop for it because they’ve just gotten going again after stopping at
other stop signs that are just down the street on either side of it,
according to Fire Chief Bill Arney, who lives near the intersection.
Though “people run
it all the time,” the stop sign gives kids crossing the road a false sense
of security, Arney said. “I’ve witnessed it myself.” Arney said he thinks
bright-colored “Slow, Children at Play” signs would be more effective.
McHargue, for his
part, said the BHPD has responded to complaints of speeders and drivers who
don’t stop by watching the intersection with the hope of issuing tickets,
but “when we go out there and watch it, everybody behaves.” A speed counter
that was placed there recently logged only one speeder, and it was McHargue
himself responding to an emergency call, Hull said.
Hull said he isn’t
in favor of removing a sign just because nobody heeds it, but he’s concerned
about kids who expect cars to stop there. Council member Toni Biancardi,
however, was concerned removing the stop sign is too permanent a decision.
“Once you take it out, it’s out.” She cautioned that the Town would have to
communicate very effectively with residents about the removal.
with Biancardi, noting kids might not notice the stop sign is gone and
continue to use the intersection like it’s there. “One kid hurt because
we’re removing a stop sign is too many,” he said.
After a lengthy
discussion, the Council decided to take other safety measures first rather
than removing the stop sign. The intersection is slated to get a new painted
crosswalk as part of a larger plan for crosswalks in Town, and Street
Superintendent Pat Melton will order and install “Slow, Children at Play”
business, the Council formed a committee to look into installing speed humps
in subdivisions in Town where residents have complained of speeding. Council
President Nick Loving and member Roseann Bozak will look into how other
municipalities regulate the use of speed humps, as Town Attorney Clay Patton
reported there are no specific state regulations on the matter.
Arney reported the
Burns Harbor Fire Department’s annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser is likely
to become a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic because the Fire Department
building would not allow for enough social distancing. “We’re not sure yet.
We’re still exploring some other options,” Arney said, “But I don’t think
it’s gonna be safe enough.”
Melton and Arney
reported they’re working to get all the Town’s generators under one service
contract after the alternator on one key generator failed during Monday’s
severe storm, which allowed a power outage at the Town Hall. Arney also
reported Lift Station No. 3 took a lightning strike in the storm and
required service for a fried main fuse board. Meanwhile, Melton reported
paving in Town has wrapped up, though some seeding and shoulder work
Bozak reported the
beach is open at Lakeland Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a lifeguard on
duty. A concrete cornhole set has also been installed at the Park using the
proceeds of the last Footloose 5K. Visitors can bring their own bags or
borrow from the gatehouse.
Jane Jordan reported the Town has received approximately 49 percent of its
anticipated tax draw for 2020. The Town’s Net Assessed Valuation is slated
to increase to $36,964,000 in 2021.