Council lengthens school speed limit times

The Italy City Council approved an ordinance Monday evening changing the school speed limit to 20 mph between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. when school is in session.

Teri Murdock, city secretary/administrator, said many children are getting to school earlier than the currently designated 7:30 a.m. time on current signs. The council delayed ending time from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The school zones at Stafford Elementary School are located on portions of Harris Street and the high school is located on portions of College Street. Violators face up to a $500 fine per offense.

In other business, the council approved an ordinance prohibiting the loud and disturbing noises and vibrations of a motor vehicle in the city.

Murdock said this replaces the current noise ordinance approved in 1973. The ordinance, she explained, is stiffer than the current one in place. Violators face up to a $500 fine per offense.

Loud and disturbing noises and vibrations presumed offensive include the following:

  • The founding of any horn or signal device on any motor vehicle, except as a danger signal.
  • The loud grating, grinding or rattling noise caused by the use of any motor vehicle that is out of repair or poorly or improperly loaded.
  • The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any stationary steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine or motor boat engine, except through a muffler or other device that will effectively and efficiently prevent loud and disturbing noises or vibrations.
  • The discharge into the open air of the exhaust from any motor vehicle, except through a muffler or other device that will effectively and efficiently prevent loud and disturbing noises or vibrations.
  • The operation of sound equipment, including a car stereo, in a motor vehicle in such a matter that the noise is so audible or causes such a vibration as to unreasonably disturb the peace, quiet or comfort of another person.

The council repealed an ordinance passed in April of 2009 and replaced it with an updated, separate ordinance regarding dogs and cats.

Murdock said the purpose of the updated ordinance is to provide regulations for the control and care of dogs and cats in the city, to prevent and control the transmission of rabies to human beings and domestic animals, to reduce the number of stray dogs and cats in the city and the attendant health risks such animals pose. The updated ordinance encourages responsible ownership of dogs and cats, prevents nuisances and protects the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Additionally, the council approved a resolution accepting funding of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA) 2009 for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG).

Murdock said there is $145 million grant money available for small cities. She said the city could receive up to $20,000 for heat and air, light fixtures, heat and power, ground source heat pumps, absorption chillers, etc.

In other business, the council sold Earl Goodwin the city easement running beside his property on College Street.

Goodwin said he has taken care of the property – approximately a block long and 20’ wide — for 25 years. He asked the council to sell or donate the property in question to him.

The council sold the property to Goodwin for $1. He is also responsible for all city fees involved in the transfer.

The council named Joyce Hobbs to the Italy Economic Development Corporation (EDC) replacing a member who missed more than three meetings.

They also approved a $6,000 payment to David Miracle, an EDC consultant.

Rodney Guthrie, council member, said, “This is a start. Hopefully, it will lead us in the right direction.”

Miracle said this fee involves a significant amount of research and data analysis. The purpose, he said, is for the strategic planning in Italy.

The council named Waxahachie Daily Light as the official city newspaper for the fiscal year 2009-2010.

Billy Kirby, who was on the agenda to discuss code enforcement, was not in attendance.

September department reports
Italy Police Chief C.V. Johns said the department received 83 calls to service last month. He said there were two felony arrests, three misdemeanor arrests and five traffic warrant arrests. Officers worked and trained a total of 1,450 hours.

The animal control officer, D.C. Morgan, received 10 calls to service, issued one citation and captured three animals.

Lt. Thomas Peyton, code enforcement officer, said the department received six complaints and issued warnings on four of the complaints. He found 88 code violations throughout the city. He issued 28 verbal/written warnings and issued 60 citations.

Brad Chambers, public works director, said the department has spent several late evenings repairing leaks in the shifting ground.

Michelle Munoz said the police department filed 445 citations. Warrants filed or pending include 318.

Murdock said the Couch Street bridge construction should begin by Oct. 19. Construction should last four months. She said this construction would be an inconvenience for residents but said it will be a nice structure once completed.

Consent items were approved pending two corrections on the minutes from the previous meetings.

Prior to adjournment, Mayor Frank Jackson said Saturday, Oct. 24, is clean up day in the city. He said a 30 yard dumpster will be located by the water barn starting at 8 a.m. The city will refuse any debris once the dumpster is full. They will not accept tires, paint, batteries or refrigerators.

He said a city Christmas parade and festival is set for Saturday, Dec. 5 with an Italy Ministerial Alliance tree lighting ceremony and living nativity planned Sunday, Dec. 6.