Thursday, October 10, 2013
Speeding on Van Dorn a concern
By SUE WATSON
Former city alderman Garrie Colhoun appeared before the Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen recently to complain about speeding along Van Dorn Avenue, both up and down the hill.
He expressed the same concern when he served as alderman but said he spends more time at home now and the problem has not been solved.
“It concerned me for years as alderman,” he said. “It is the speed that concerns me.”
He said motorists leave the Chesterman Street intersection where the speed limit is listed as 20 mph, then the signage changes to 25 mph at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Colhoun said it does not make sense for the speed limit to increase going toward the square.
He urged the city to address the signage and then to enforce the speed limits.
Calls to the police department and to 911 were of no avail, Colhoun said.
“What concerns me is children on Van Dorn,” he said.
Children cross the street to go to free supper at St. Joseph’s on Tuesday and Thursday nights, he said.
“I sure would like to see some signage and enforcement (tickets written) on violators on Van Dorn,” Colhoun said. “That’s my street. I see it.”
Alderman Christy Owens said she attended a citizens’ advisory committee meeting at the police department recently where the matter was brought up. There are inconsistent speed limits posted on Van Dorn, she said, three different speed limits in three different blocks.
“We were at the store (Owens Grocery) for 20 years and I never noticed the inconsistent speed limit,” she said. “People are using our streets as the Autobahn.”
Colhoun said he worries about the safety of speeders, especially those on motorcycles, and the safety of pedestrians.
In other business, Kourtney Hollingsworth, regional broadband coordinator with Mississippi State University, said she is conducting a survey of broadband access for North Mississippi. She is surveying the needs for technology and the Internet, particularly the availability of Facebook and technology in homes.
“A lot of your citizens do not have Internet,” she said. “The schools will do a survey to locate where the Internet is and is not. We will do a community forum to see if the technology costs too much or if the speeds are not right. The survey is for the Public Service Commission.”
She said it is important that businesses and schools have broadband and Internet technology.
Alderman Tim Liddy asked if there is anything the city can do.
“We do not have a proper map,” she said. “The providers say they have it, but the citizens say they do not. After we map it out, we will determine what areas qualify for it and which do not.”
Liddy asked about the fiber optics that have been laid down beside the streets in recent years.
Don Hollingsworth, general manager of the Holly Springs Utility Department, said “the last mile” has been worked on in the Delta and Clarksdale has a wireless grant, plus there is some effort in Tunica and Marshall County.
“For some people, it is just not affordable,” said alderman Mark Miller.
Hollingsworth said there is a program to get kids on lunch programs a laptop and monthly rates.
In other matters, the board of aldermen:
• passed a motion for pay adjustments for about 10 Holly Springs Utility Department employees. The motion passed 4-1 with Alderman Gipson voting nay.
• passed a motion to adjust the salaries of two firefighters who completed training at the fire academy. The motion passed 4-1 with Gipson voting nay.
• voted for a salary adjustment for five people who received promotions at the police department in June. The motion passed 4-1 with Gipson voting nay.
• promoted Alvin Crook from reserve police officer to part-time officer. The motion passed 4-1 with Gipson voting nay.
• approved entry level salaries at the electric department to be the same as entry level for water and gas employees – $11.46 an hour. The motion passed unanimously.
• hired five entry level groundsmen for the electric department. The motion passed unanimously.
• passed a motion for random drug testing for all employees with the city and HSUD. The motion passed unanimously.
• authorized mayor Buck to seek an auditing firm to audit money spent at the Holly Springs Commons PUD. The motion passed 4-1 with Gipson voting nay.
The meeting adjourned at about 11:15 p.m.
The next meeting of the Holly Springs Board of Aldermen is set for October 15 at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.
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