WASHINGTON — With winter weather on the way the Washington City Council has started to look at ways to keep the square clear for snow plows. At its meeting Tuesday, the council passed the first reading of an ordinance that would allow for more signage to enforce the snow ordinance.
After holding a work shop on the idea of adding signs to the downtown area last month, the council decided to have it put on the agenda for the next meeting. City Administrator Brent Hinson said the idea behind adding more signs would be to enforce the no parking during snow plowing ordinance already in place.
The city regularly puts up a sandwich board in the middle of the square to notify citizens but unless it has mounted signs, the ordinance is not enforceable by police. Concern was raised from the public about an over abundance of signs but Mayor Jaron Rosien said the city would put up the minimal amount of signs required to make enforcement possible.
Twelve signs will be installed, three on each sides of the square. The restriction will be for no parking during snow removal and from 10 p.m. Thursdays to 6 a.m. on Fridays. The two hour parking restriction that exists along the business side of all streets on the square and along West Second Street and North B Avenue will continue to be enforced.
The council approved the first of three readings by a vote of 5-0. Council member Danielle Pettit-Majewski was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
In other traffic related news, a new turn signal will be coming to the intersection at Highway 92 and Wiley Avenue near Walmart. Construction is scheduled to begin next spring to upgrade the stoplights to flashing yellow turn arrows. Hinson said drivers will have a green arrow that will turn to a flashing yellow arrow to allow them to yield to oncoming traffic.
The council approved a bid form Neumiller Electric of Iowa City for $11,200. In a memo sent to the council, Hinson said the project is not budgeted for but can be done and would be paid out of the Road Use Tax Fund, which typically runs under budget. He said when this happens, the city uses the extra funds for street patching but felt this upgrade could also be accomplished without causing a large impact to the other items.