WASHINGTON — Traffic around the Washington Middle School will look a little different this school year as plans to reroute the pick up and drop off lanes are in the works.
At their meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 6, the Washington City Council decided to move forward with traffic changes and will look to approve an ordinance on the matter in the coming meetings. In 2011, the building at 313 South Fourth Street in Washington was Washington High School. In 2012, it became Washington Middle School after a new high school building was built.
Because it was a high school, there were few issues with pick up and drop off because most students drove or carpooled to school. Now that a younger crowd occupies the space, the lack of parking and congested traffic caused by busses, drop off and pedestrians is becoming a safety concern.
Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said a remedy to this problem has been in the works for several years. The point of conflict is on the northwest corner of the school where Jefferson is a one way going east and Madison is a one way going west. The proposed plan is to make East Jefferson Street the parent drop off zone, because it is the longer side of the block, and East Madison street the bus pick up and drop off zone. Fold down stop signs will be added at the South Fourth and East Jefferson Street intersection to ensure safety for students walking. The front of the school, along South 4th, will be re-striped for visitor parking.
The council decided to move forward with the plan and will see an ordinance at their next meeting. In other construction news, $242,000 was transferred from the city’s general fund to the construction fund for the police station, city hall and fire department buildings. Washington Mayor Jaron Rosien explained that any funds in excess of $1 million are automatically transferred, which is how the city is able to pay for the project without going out for bond or being issued a loan.
The last of the trees stumps in the city riddled with Emerald Ash Bore disease will be removed. A memo sent to the council by Steve Donnolly of the Emerald Ash Bore Committee, explained most trees were removed by the city and homeowners last year but there was no way to remove the stumps. A bid from Sigourney Treecare LLC for $1,085 to remove 14 stumps from city property was recommended by Donnolly, and approved by the council. This equals out to about $78 a stump for removal.