Yes vote: County lowers speed limit in subdivision

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Things are slowing down in Sagefield Subdivision and Lee Road 934.

The county commission voted Monday to reduce the speed limit in the subdivision and on the county road – also known as Misty Lane – from 45 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour following a request from a citizen.

“Misty Lane for a long time was a one-way road that went down to a larger subdivision (Sagefield) … for a long time the people would have to juggle who’s coming and who’s got the right of way,” explained county engineer Justin Hardee.

With the growth of the road to two lanes, and the growth in density of homes located on the road, Hardee recommended the reduction in speed.

One commission concern was whether the request from the citizen, Gail Bruner, represented the desires of the entire neighborhood or only herself, but Commissioner Gary D. Long, in whose district the road and subdivision are located, put that concern to rest.

“I’m going to tell you, that road needs to be 25 miles an hour,” Long said. “I don’t think anybody there would complain. I think they would all agree.”

The 45 miles per hour limit is the “default setting” prescribed by state law for county subdivisions, barring a speed limit being set by a county commission.

“I’d like to see some discussion on (reducing the speed limit) county-wide in subdivisions,” said Commissioner Robert Ham. The commission agreed to discuss legislation to automatically set a lower speed limit for all future subdivisions to avoid this problem.

Eugene Benford, commander of the Disabled American Veterans Organization for Lee County, came before the commission to request provision of office space for the organization. Although Benford initially asked for space in the Johnson Gallery, where other veterans’ affairs service are being moved,  Chairman and Probate Judge Bill English explained that that move is only temporary while the courthouse is being renovated.

“They will be over there while we renovate, and then they will come back in this building,” English said. “We don’t have a lot of free space right now, even for ourselves, and that’s why we’re having to do that. Space for us is a premium – that’s my concern.”

But the topic was an item of some discussion for the commission, with commissioners agreeing that trying to help the DAV was a worthy cause.

“We would like to, if possible, have office space in the same building … to give the veterans in Lee County a centralized location to come to,” Benford said.

Commissioner John Andrew Harris voiced his opinion, urging the commission to work with the DAV on the matter. “The veterans ought to be a top priority for this commission – for anybody,” Harris said. “We can provide a place so he can go out there and do some outreach … and make sure the people are served.”

The commission agreed they might be able to provide the DAV some meeting space in the future.

“I like the idea of try ing to have it where they’re coming anyway for their other needs,” said Commissioner Johnny Lawrence. “It only makes sense to me … that we try to accommodate this. I think we can come up with something.”

The commission also:

– extended a number of maintenance bids.

– accepted a bid from Telmate to provide inmate telephone services at the county jail.

– approved an additional $2,400 for the county Employee Health and Benefits Fair.

– granted authority to Hardee to explore the idea and to close the railroad crossing on Lee Road 927 in front of Smiths Station, if deemed appropriate, following a non-fatal accident involving a teacher. “This is a crossing we’ve been working on trying to get protected,” Long said.

– voted to verify the appropriateness of financing – by the Southwest Lee County Fire Protection Agency – a new pumper truck.

– voted for a budget amendment for tornado recovery costs

– set five budget work sessions

– set a work session to discuss the county’s solid waste disposal policy.

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