GARRETT — The Garrett Common Council Tuesday tabled a proposed ordinance for parking and loading around the school campus for the second time.
At issue is the creation of a bikeway on the north side of Houston Street from Britton to Second streets, which would restrict parking along that entire area at all times.
Council members expressed concern that the proposed changes would cause inconvenience for people visiting Eastside Park across from J.E. Ober Elementary School and for sporting events at the high school, where parking is already at a premium.
Another plan to limit parking only during school hours also drew concern about safety for children crossing the street and that it would cancel out the proposed bikeway. New signage that would be needed in the event of restricted hours could be funded by various safety grants. Council members agreed more information needs to be collected before any decision is made.
Also Tuesday, Meg Zenk, representing the DeKalb County Council on Aging, asked the City Council to consider its annual allocation to the agency for services it offers to Garrett residents.
The Council on Aging operates DeKalb Area Rural Transit vehicles throughout the county, and the Heimach Senior Center hosts support groups for low vision, Alzheimer’s caregivers and grandparents. Zenk told council members the shared budget is nearly $775,000, with more than $500,000 for the transportation program. Last year, Zenk requested $7,500 from the city.
The council also adopted amendments to city codes that include penalties of curfew for minors; definition of and towing cost for removing or storing an abandoned vehicle or parts, abandoned vehicles in possession of a person other than owner, removal of abandoned vehicles and penalty for violators of restrictions and provisions; parking issues including requirements for handicap parking spaces in residential areas; and procedures under which code violations are sent and deadlines for designated violations to be abated or removed before a second or third offense is issued.
Police Chief Roland McPherson reported officers made 257 calls between Aug. 19 and Sept. 2, including 73 traffic tickets, 133 traffic warnings and five property-damage accidents. He reported 28 arrests including 12 for drugs, six traffic arrests, three each for operating while intoxicated, warrants and miscellaneous, and one battery arrest. Officers also made 65 security checks during the period.
City Planner Milton Otero reported 141 improvement location permits to date this year, five unsafe building code violations and 41 property liens.
Otero emphasized the importance of all residents responding to the 2020 Census in order for everyone to be counted. The information is vital to ensure fair representation and distribution of federal funds, grants and support for states, counties and communities. The money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs, Otero said.
At a meeting of the Board of Works earlier in the day, City Engineer Aaron Ott presented plans for a city parking lot on South Cowen Street. Ott said he is obtaining quotes for paving and discussed the need for lighting and privacy fencing on both sides of the property that will provide 35 new parking spaces.
Information technology director Rick Vie was given permission to purchase Lansweeper IT asset management software at an estimated annual cost of $495.