Junction council wants to make school traffic safer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Junction City Council talked about several issues that need to be addressed during its regular meeting Thursday night.

Council member Kenny Baldwin said it’s important that they work with the Junction City Elementary School board to come up with a better traffic flow plan before the school year begins. Currently, drivers park on Lucas Street and traffic backs up onto Main Street, sometimes an hour or more before school is let out, when they’re waiting to pick up their children, he said.

“They block all the driveways,” Mayor Jim Douglas said. Residents “can’t come home and they can’t get out. … It gets worse every year.”

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After a couple of suggestions were made and debated, Mayor Douglas said a meeting would be scheduled with the school to talk about the safety issues and traffic concerns that the city has. “We’ll address it somehow.”

The council also agreed to discuss raising cemetery rates for non-residents of Junction City.

City Clerk Susan Music said the number of burials of people who had no connection to Junction City “have skyrocketed” in the past few years, mostly because the rates are lower than anywhere around, she said. On average, about 50 of these types of burials are within the cemetery every year, she added.

Baldwin said he was supportive of raising the rates for people who don’t live in the city, but questioned if the higher rates would apply to those whose family live in the area but the deceased didn’t.

Mayor Douglas asked the council to think about who would be charged the higher rates and who would be considered a resident. A more in depth discussion will be during the July meeting.

The city park and the condition of its playground equipment, restrooms, walking trail and security chains were also talked about Thursday night. The only action taken was approval to purchase new chains to replace the rusty ones.

Boyle County Jailer Brian Wofford told the commission about the new Inmate Community Work Program, and offered its services to the city.

Wofford said inmates in this program would be under constant supervision and would do just about any kind of work that the city needed, such as painting curbs, mowing, weed eating and other kinds of labor, at no cost to the city.

After the meeting, the council held a reception for Merl Baldwin, who retired as police chief last month, and Doug Combs, who was retiring after more than 21 years as a patrolman.