Amanda Thompson shared a story Thursday night with the Seymour Board of Aldermen.
She told about motorists speeding down the street where she lives — North Frances Street.
Speeds of 50, even 60 miles per hour are common.
Thompson even had video to prove her point.
“I guess my issue is that there are five babies on that street who are under the age of 5,” she told the aldermen.
“One of these days, if this problem isn’t fixed, we’re going to have something really bad happen, because this really is a dangerous situation.”
She suggested the city lower the speed limit on North Frances Street from its current 25 miles per hour.
She also suggested a speed bump or bumps being added to the city street.
All three of the aldermen present — Darrel “Bub” Wallace from the North Ward, Nadine Crisp and Dan Wehmer from the South Ward — said they sympathized with Thompson’s situation.
But City Administrator Hillary Gintz immediately offered a solution.
“After you got on the agenda for this meeting, we began looking for a solution,” Gintz told Thompson. “And one that I would like to try before we look at lowering the speed limit is for us to place flashing speed signs on your street.”
Gintz explained that earlier this year, the city received grant funding for two digital speed signs. The signs can read the speed of approaching vehicles and then tell the motorists the speed of their vehicle.
“I know that these signs can’t arrest or stop anyone, but for our police, they will be very valuable,” she said.
As an example, Gintz noted that all the times and dates of all motorists’ vehicles monitored by the signs can be recorded, thus providing the Seymour Police Department with valuable information.
“We’ll know when people tend to speed on your street,” Gintz said. “By knowing that, then our police have a much better chance of catching those who do speed.”
Seymour Police Chief Steven Pogue said that lowering the speed limit on North Frances Street likely would have little impact on speeding violators.
“They’re not following the speed limit now,” Pogue said.
“If we lower it to 20 or even 15 miles per hour, that probably won’t make a difference to them.”
Thompson said she liked the idea of the city’s new flashing speed signs.
“I just want for the kids on our street to be safe,” she said.
“We’re optimistic this will help this situation,” Gintz responded.
South Ward Alderman Dan Wehmer asked Gintz and Pogue if assistance to the situation could come by the city buying “children playing” signs and mounting them along North Frances Street, as well as other streets in Seymour where there are a lot of children.
“That wouldn’t hurt a thing and would probably help,” Pogue said.
“It would really be nice if they were bright,” Thompson added.
Gintz said she would check into the availability and cost of the signs, then would place an order.
Thompson thanked Gintz, Pogue and the aldermen for their assistance.
“I know that there have been times when I’m critical, but I want you to know that I also appreciate you,” she said.
“Throughout this deal with the speeders, ever since I’ve talked to Steven (Pogue) and Dan (Wehmer), the city police department has been nothing but great about increasing the patrols and staying in contact with me.”
In other city business last Thursday, the aldermen:
• Briefly talked about the citywide fall cleanup event, set to start this Saturday and continue until Sunday, Oct. 10. A focal point of this fall’s event is ensuring that only city residents and city business owners participate.
“We’ll have people every day checking those who bring items in,” Gintz said.
For more on the fall cleanup, see the advertisement in this week’s newspaper.
• Awarded a bid for four city lots to Clint Thompson, who lives on Velma Drive in Seymour.
Thompson’s winning bid was $27,000.
He will receive two lots at the north end of Velma Drive and two lots at the north end of Karen Circle.
The only other bid for the properties came from Ron Cardwell Construction of Seymour for $20,015.
• Learned the electric department’s bucket truck needed $25,000 in repairs.
The initial estimate for repairing the truck was $6,000.
“This truck’s life is very limited,” Gintz said. “We have to make the repairs so we have an operational bucket truck, but we’re going to need a new one soon.”
Estimated cost for a new bucket truck is $250,000.
“Right now, we’re 1-1/2 years out on orders for new trucks being filled,” Gintz added. “I guess my point is that you need to make a decision on this sometime next month.”
The consensus among the three aldermen present was that the city needs to order a bucket truck as soon as possible.
• Heard from Gintz that City Judge Chuck Replogle, who also is the elected associate circuit court judge for Webster County, needs to be reappointed at the city’s Oct. 14 meeting.
“You can’t beat what we pay him,” Wehmer said, noting that Replogle does the job for free.
• Was told by Gintz that the city’s first payment of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds were set to arrive early Friday morning.
The amount coming in is $202,794.50.
The total in ARPA funds allotted by the federal government to the city is just over $370,000.
Gintz said she was uncertain when the balance of the ARPA funds will arrive.