At the Keystone Town Board Meeting last Wednesday, Aug. 17, trustee Lynette Gohsman pushed for the city to begin the process of eliminating the crosswalk closest to Highway 40 on Winter Street.
“What do we have to do to get this ball rolling?” she asked.
This issue was originally brought up at the Aug. 3 meeting when Gohsman read a letter from Danielle Banks, owner of the Holy Smoke Resort. In it, Banks retold an incident where she narrowly missed hitting pedestrians due to the placement of a delivery truck. As the truck was parked between the second and third crosswalks on Winter Street, Banks was unable to see a man and two girls starting across the road on the crosswalk behind the truck. Methods for better controlling truck parking and delivery times were discussed.
Finance officer Vanessa Row explained that the issue had been handled in the past by the city hand-delivering letters to the businesses, asking for them to have all deliveries completed before 9 a.m.
“We had this fixed once and it worked really well,” Row said.
However, Gohsman strongly believes that at least one of the four existing crosswalks on Winter Street should be removed and seems to have settled on the northernmost one. If this crosswalk is removed, trucks could be required to park north of the remaining crosswalks eliminating the sightline problem and improving pedestrian safety.
President Kwinn Neff suggested that their first step be to discuss the issue with the affected businesses. Row said she could hand-deliver letters, which would ask for deliveries to be completed in the morning and mention the proposed crosswalk removal. Gohsman and trustee Justin Moss volunteered to help Row with this stage of the process.
In addition to the letters, the city has also placed the issue on the agenda for the next town board meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Public works director Jerry Przybylski thought this was too soon, commenting that the city should first decide on the direction for the Swanzey Street bridge repair.
However, Gohsman asserted that the crosswalk will still be an issue regardless of what bridge option the town chooses.
In another tie up of old business, Neff asked city attorney Mitch Johnson if there was any legal recourse to the White House Resort pumping sewage out onto the street at the end of last month. Johnson explained that while there is a city ordinance against such an action, it would come down to the city’s ability to prove the resort knew it was pumping sewage.
Moss suggested simply sending Durst Enterprises, the owner of the White House, the bill for the man-hours and materials used to clean up the streets outside the resort.
“I think it’s necessary,” agreed trustee Sandi McLain.
Neff wanted to include a letter from Johnson, citing the relevant city ordinance. This action was unanimously approved.
The town’s budget hearings will wrap up on Thursday, Aug. 25 and Monday, Aug. 29. Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m. at Keystone Community Center boardroom.
The next regular Keystone Town Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.