The Piedmont City Council, on Tuesday, took measures to make areas of the city a little safer for motorists and pedestrians alike.
City officials passed an ordinance officially lowering the downtown speed limit from 20 to 15 mph along portions of Ladiga Street and Center Avenue. In a previous meeting, Council Member Greg South, who proposed the change, said that the lower speeds of passing motorists will make the area safer for pedestrians as well as people who utilize the street parking.
“That’s the only area in the whole city that you can get into your car and cross the street to go into a business,” he said, adding, “Kids are walking across the streets, people are getting in and out.”
The lower speed limit is also expected to create a smoother ride for motorists when driving across the city’s brick crosswalks, which have been recently repaired.
The council also passed a parking ordinance, which will create permanent no parking zones in certain areas around the Piedmont High School sports complex.
Previously street parking was allowed during sporting events only. However, Police Chief Freddie Norton said that this had become a safety issue, making it impossible for emergency vehicles to pass through.
“It’s strictly a safety issue. Especially during sporting events,” Norton said.
Mayor Bill Baker agreed, saying, “When we have an emergency, we obviously need that clear for them to get in as quickly as possible.”
Both speed and parking ordinances passed unanimously with an 8-0 vote.
In other business, bills for payment were approved in the amount of $560,462.21.
Dianne Studdard and Brent Morrison were appointed to serve on the city’s Commercial Development Board.
The council heard from Commercial Development Board Chairman Lane Weatherbee concerning potentially allowing a Labrador retriever breeding and training facility to be built on a 10-acre city-owned property.
If approved, it would require a $300,000 investment by the city, and would create 30 new jobs after a 5-year period. The proposed facility would train dogs to be used as narcotics dogs as well as service dogs. No action was taken.
The next regular Piedmont City Council Meeting is scheduled for September 3rd, immediately following the work session, which is set for 5:30pm.