The recent Huntington City Council meeting was attended by several residents who were concerned with the traffic and speeding throughout the city.
Julia Foote, a resident of Main Street in Huntington, stated that she had written a letter to the editor about this issue. "I want to get involved," she said. "I want to know the status of the sidewalks in our town. I also have noticed that with the road into the desert paved, there is more traffic and it is going faster.
"In my daughter's case, if there had been sidewalks and lines painted in the roads, she would not have been considered 'in the road'. We need more stop signs and less yield signs for our childrens' safety. Many young drivers in this town do not use Main Street. They use the back streets and often go much faster than they would on Main Street.
"There are a lot of cars parked on the roads and often times a driver cannot see the child coming from in between those cars. When children ride their bikes, they ride in the road because there is nowhere else to ride. There are no sidewalks, there is no place else to play," Foote concluded.
Council person Hilary Gordon informed Foote the council has been working on these issues. They have been exploring grants to pay for more sidewalks, and are even exploring beautification grants because sidewalks enhance the looks of a town.
"We are putting together the numbers to continue the sidewalk projects. Then you have to remember that there are some residents in Huntington who do not want sidewalks. We did surveys during Heritage Days and many said they wanted sidewalks, and just as many said they don't want any change in Huntington," said Council person Gordon.
Foote responded that tourism has increased and changes are needed for the city to keep pace with the growth. "The changes which are needed for our childrens' safety have not increased," said Foote. "At a minimum, can we paint lines on the roads? With school just around the corner, we could have a real problem."
Council person Julie Jones expressed her appreciation to Foote for volunteering to help. "I would like to see more residents get involved with how this city is run," said Council person Jones.
Sheriff Lamar Guymon was present at the meeting and the council addressed several questions to him concerning the condition of the roads and the safety issues. "Speed bumps are not illegal for a town to install. There are several in Castle Dale and I have not had any complaints for more than 10 years. There are many things a city can do to control the speeders in their town, but all of these things take money. I would encourage you to do something very quickly while this meeting is fresh in your mind. Don' wait six months and give everyone a chance to forget," said Sheriff Guymon.
The residents and the council entered into a discussion concerning the crosswalks and the number of children who will be walking to school soon. The council decided to contact the school and request volunteers to help children in the crosswalks surrounding the school.
Councilman Bob Mills said, "The city streets are ours. We can do anything we want with them. Main Street is a state road and we cannot do anything with it. We need to move soon with the speed bumps or whatever. Summer is nearly over and we need to complete the project before winter."
Sheriff Guymon continued, "You will have mad people and they will hate you, but your city will be safer. Huntington also needs more speed limit signs around town. We have had complaints come into the office that people did not know the speed limit in town is 25 miles per hour. The biggest thing a resident can do is to pay attention to the traffic on their streets. Call the sheriff's office and report speeders, and the deputies are obligated to come out and investigate. After a while, we have a pattern of where the most problems are and can do extra patrols. The residents must also be able to positively identify the drivers and be willing to press charges."
While still on the topic of traffic speeding through Huntington, two other residents presented a petition to the council. This petition was signed by everyone along 100 North. "We have talked to many of the residents around town, not only on 100 North, and they all have the same problems. Those problems are speeding traffic, all day and all night, and loud music. Our animals are being hit in the streets. When do we begin to do something so no more children are killed. We need help in Huntington, something has to be done."
Sheriff Guymon added, "I live here too. It is important to me to solve this problem. Every city in the county has the same problem. The best proven deterrent is the electric speed signs that show the drivers their speed."
On a different topic, Boyd Wilson addressed the council concerning the town's ordinances. "I'm trying to revamp our ordinances and I am doing it on my own time. I feel I'm wasting my time because the council will not enforce the ordinances that they have now," said Wilson. "Each ordinance has explicit steps to follow for enforcement. They need to be enforced."
Councilman Mills stated the zoning laws in Huntington have made it impossible to enforce the ordinances. "We have spoken with our attorney and he advised us to get the zoning problems worked out first," said Councilman Mills.
Council person Jones informed the council of a problem at the cemetery. "We have had some campers, trailers, and even semi-trucks parking at the cemetery overnight. We need signs to alert people that there is no overnight camping allowed at the cemetery," she said.
Council person Gordon announced that work is underway at the rodeo grounds. Two Eagle projects are being completed that are installing fencing and moving the ticket booth. Also, in the beautification department, the locations for the new lights to be installed on Main Street are being marked.
Council person Cathy Cowley informed the council of two groups of young people from Farmington recently doing a service project in town. She stated they cleaned up, installed weed barrier and did some painting at the Lion's Park. The park is having a dedication on Aug. 31 at 12:30 p.m.
The next Huntington City Council meeting will be held on Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m.