(Hannibal)--30 or 25??  The issue of changing the maximum legal speed on one of Hannibal's busier streets came before the council Tuesday night.

The council heard the lowdown on "speed tables" and "traffic calming" on Stardust Drive from City Manager Jeff LaGarce, who stated the City wishes to take a proactive approach to enhance safety for residents in the area.

The street is experiencing increasing  traffic volume due to the recent completion of the extension to Veteran's Road.  Speed is a concern with the longer stretches of road and the downhill slopes that allow a car to easily exceed the current 25 mph limit.

LaGarce outlined his traffic calming recommendations which include the use of speed tables-- a technique not as annoying as speed bumps, using a more gradual elongated slope in selected areas to achieve the calming or slowing of traffic.

LaGarce shared the Traffic Committee recommendations of speed tables in three areas of Stardust:  the downhill slope between Veteran's Road and Clover Road and also between Head Lane and Munger Lane when traveling east.  Another is planned for the downhill stretch between Munger Lane and Head Lane when traveling west.

The council eventually decided to table the matter after hearing  arguments (one from a retired MoDot employee) that 30 mph is a sensible speed and more consistent with similar streets in Hannibal.  It was decided that since the speed tables are not going to be constructed until spring, more time is needed to weigh all the factors involved.

In other business, a request from Bob Burditt of Burditt Construction to remove demolition salvage block from the former waste water treatment plant site was not well received.  City Manager LaGarce says there are too many liability and access issues involved with  removing block remaining from  buildings that were razed by the city.  LaGarce told the council the mission of eliminating mischief by vandals and trespassers in the buildings has been achieved, and its time to move on to more important issues.

Burditt argued the block has salvage value--the stone buildings were built by WPA labor back in the 30's.  He proposes using labor provided by criminal offenders to remove the stone as a way of paying off their debt to society.

The council expressed concern that the only fair way to handle the issue would be to solicit bids for removal, an idea that LaGarce said would not be worth pursuing.  In the end, the Council unanimously denied Burditt's request.

The third time was charm for entrepreneur Bill Martin who has been negotiating to purchase the former Murphy Motors property at 422 North Main St.  After twice tabling the issue due to contract language concerns, the Council voted to approve the final draft of the sales contract for the sales price of $225,000. Martin plans to develop the property into the Moses Bates Mercantile and Pub.

Pigeons once again came to roost on the council's agenda, but this time with less controversy.  City Manager LaGarce told the council although an estimated 60% of pigeons have been removed from downtown Hannibal, a continuing maintenance program may be the best approach going forward.  The Council agreed, voting to continue the no-kill trapping program with Big River Pest Control for one-year at a cost of $2,600.

A number of temporary street closures/ parking waivers were approved:   North Main to Broadway on August 3rd for the Corvette show.  A parking waiver for the Brookside Drive area near the High School is approved after Pete Friesen of the YMCA told the Council over 600 participants will be in town this weekend for a regional swim meet.  Approval was given to the Hannibal Convention and Visitor's Bureau to close part of Main Street from North to Center for the Great Race Road Rally on June 24th.  Approval also was given to Hannibal Regional Hospital to close various downtown streets for the Hannibal Cannibal Run/Walk on Saturday, July 6th.

Approval was granted to the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department to purchase a bucket truck from the BPW for $10,000 to be used for park maintenance and projects.

A bid waiver is approved that allows the City to contract with a single signing company--Park Place Signs--to furnish the City with consistent signage that is MODOT compliant throughout the city.

Two Resolutions regarding existing demolition contracts are approved:  an addendum to the contract with Diamond H Corporation providing an additional 90 days to complete flood buyout demolitions, and a similar extension of 60 days is approved for Sutton Enterprises to complete their demolition projects.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,  February 19.



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