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Condition of sidewalks in the village, and traffic concerns in areas around the R.F. McMullen and C.E. Budd Schools, were brought up at the Monday, April 17 meeting of Loudonville Village Council.
Rhonda Close, a runner who takes village streets and sidewalks on regular runs from her West Campbell Street home to the Loudonville Bike Path on Wally Road, complained about the condition of sidewalks on North Spring Street.
"Because Market Street, where I usually run, was closed at the railroad crossing, I ran up and down North Spring Street, and while running, I clipped an uneven rise in a sidewalk and took a spill," she told council members. "I can remember when we purchased our property that a campaign was being mounted at the time on upgrading the condition of sidewalks, and us making repairs to our sidewalks at the time. Aren't sidewalks supposed to be maintained and kept level?"
Mayor Steve Stricklen recalled the campaign to repair sidewalks in the town. "I remember at the time two council members walked every sidewalk in town and ordered residents whose sidewalks were not level or in disrepair to fix them," the mayor said. "It may be time to initiate a sidewalk repair campaign again." Village Administrator Curt Young said he surveyed the North Spring Street sidewalks, and found seven at least two inches from being level. "Letters advising the property owners of these deficiencies will be sent," he said.
Law Director Thom Gilman emphasized "it is the responsibility of property owners to maintain their sidewalks. If someone using them is injured because of their condition, they are liable."
To lighten the discussion a little, Stricklen commented "we could give (Councilman) Tom Young a notebook, and he could check condition of sidewalks on his nightly walks around town." Young is well known for walking around the entire village many evenings. Rev. John Temple of the Trinity Community Church asked village assistance in correcting traffic issues next to his church property on Bustle Street and Walnut Court near the R.F. McMullen School.
"As a result of the Safe Routes to School construction in this area last year, many parents wait on Walnut Court, the ally just east of both the church property and school, pulling into our yard to get out of the way of traffic," Temple said. "As a result, this winter and early spring they have caused significant damage to our yard area, making it almost impossible to mow. We also have a traffic danger situation on South Union Street between our church and the Budd School, where students cross from the parking lots east of the school to the school grounds, often darting in front of traffic. I think a crosswalk should be painted there." Stricklen promised Temple village officials would investigate his concerns and come up with a solution.
Temple also asked for council involvement in the Loudonville Ministerial Association's rally to support the victims of addiction on Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m. in
Central Park. Council gave the Association permission to use the park for this purpose. Also approved was use of Riverside and Wally Road ball fields for Loudonville Youth Association tournaments several weekends this summer, and park usage for the following Chamber of Commerce sponsored events, Girls Night Out this Friday, April 21 from 3-9 p.m.; Mohican Arts and Crafts Festival May 27 in Central Park; Memorial Day parade May 29, 8:15 a.m. to approximately 10 a.m., with the parade starting at 9 a.m.; Antique Festival, Car Show and Fireworks, July 1 and 2, with the Car Show and Fireworks July 1; and Sidewalk Sales downtown Saturday, August 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Council also will look into giving the Loudonville Youth Association and Loudonville Youth Soccer Association blanket permission to use facilities in the summer months.
In other business, American Legion Post 257 Representatives Don Riffle, first vice commander, and Jim Danner, inside guard, presented Mayor Stricklen with the second installment of American Legion contributions toward construction of a new village maintenance building, a check for $12,244.74 from the Legion Charitable Gifts Campaign.
Stricklen said the project to raze the old village garage on Wally Road will begin with an auction of no longer used village equipment and impounded vehicles on Friday, May 12, then razing of the building and development of plans for a new structure. "I hope this project is well underway by summer," the mayor said. Administrator Young reported he will be advising property owners in the path of the new East Main Street Sidewalk project how the will be affected by this project, which will begin in early May.
Council approved spending up to $950 for parts necessary to repair lifeguard stands at the swimming pool. Council approved a request from parks and buildings chair Jason VanSickle to increase lifeguard pay to $10 per hour, citing difficulty hiring people at rates lower than that. Council supported this suggestion unanimously, and law director Gilman will prepare a revision to the village salary ordinance for the May 1 meeting.