SAFETY ADVISORY AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
The Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee Meeting was held on December 15, 2004, at 7:10 p.m. with Chairman Ritter presiding. Mr. Simmons and Mr. Lakeman (arrived at 7:35 p.m.) were present. Councilmen Carey and Pitts were absent. Councilman Ruane and Mayor Speed (arrived at 7:15 p.m.) were also present.
The invocation was given by Mr. Simmons, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Due to the lack of a quorum, the agenda was not adopted. Mr. Ritter requested that item #1, Discussion - Quality of Life Task Force, be delayed until there was a quorum.
Update by City Manager - Traffic Concerns (Volume & Speed) on East Loockerman Street - John McNeal, Jr. (Committee requested Police Chief to meet with City Manager for installation of stop sign during committee Meeting of September 29, 2004 for a report back to the committee in 2 months)
During their Regular Meeting of September 29, 2004, members were provided an update on traffic concerns on East Loockerman Street. Police Chief Horvath was requested to discuss the installation of a stop sign with the City Manager, Mr. DePrima, and report back in two months with the results of that discussion and the new information from the speed counter.
Mr. DePrima reported that the Police Department evaluated traffic speeds in the area of East Loockerman Street. In reviewing the results, it was concluded that a three-way stop sign may help alleviate speeding. Mr. DePrima stated that he has instructed the Public Works Department to install the necessary stop signs at East Loockerman Street and Loockerman Court. He requested the City Clerk’s Office to send a letter to Mr. McNeal advising him that this task had been completed.
Responding to Mr. Ritter, Chief Horvath reported that staff returned to the area and relocated the metro strips. They found that there was sufficient speeding in the area to warrant the stop signs. Chief Horvath cautioned that there may be complaints from residents that motorists are running the stop sign.
Report by Chief Horvath - Update on Police Department Complaints/Code Enforcement Issues - Neighborhoods Surrounding Wesley College (Delaware Avenue, American Avenue, etc.)(Requested by Chairman Ritter during Committee Meeting of November 10, 2004 - Similar Agenda Item and that President of Neighborhood Link Association be invited to attend)
During their Regular Meeting of November 10, 2004, members were provided a six (6) month summary of activity in the Governors Avenue and Wesley College area. Chief Horvath was requested to provide a report at the next meeting on other areas surrounding Wesley College, such as Delaware Avenue and American Avenue. Staff was also requested to invite the President of the Neighborhood Link Association to this meeting.
Chief Horvath briefed the committee on the area between State Street and Silver Lake from east to west and between Division Street and Hazel Road from north to south. He noted that, overall, this is a safe neighborhood.
Mrs. Kathie Siler of 299 North State Street, President of the Neighborhood Link Association, reported that residents are frustrated because they cannot understand why people are not being cited for noise violations. She noted that Officer Kelli Burns of Community Policing has attended their meetings, which is encouraging to the residents. Chief Horvath stated that the officers cannot cite anyone unless they witness the crime; however, any resident who witnesses a crime can sign a warrant within a twelve-hour period. He noted that a misdemeanor citation can be issued up to two years later. Once the warrant is signed, an officer can then arrest the person. Chief Horvath encouraged Mrs. Siler to advise the members of the association to continue to report any incidents so that when he reviews the reports, he will be able to identify areas of concern.
Development of Three (3) Transportation Priority Projects for the City of Dover - Next Year’s State CIP (Chairman Ritter requested Councilman Ruane to provide information during Committee Meeting of November 10, 2004 - Same Agenda Item)
During the November 10, 2004 Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee meeting, Chairman Ritter requested that Mr. Ruane assist the committee in developing a list of the TIP transportation projects that the City should advocate to Secretary Hayward for Fiscal Year 2006. Mr. Ruane stated that the exhibits included in the package were reviewed with Mr. DePrima, City Manager, and Mr. Koenig, Public Works Director. In developing a list of the top priorities for FY 2006, the following were considered within the context of the overall benefit to the City: past ranking; new projects; project funding in DelDOT CIP; changes in the status in projects; ranking by the Dover/Kent MPO; and length of time a project has been proposed. When considering these factors, the following appeared to be the top three projects:
#1 - Wyoming Mill Road Realignment
This is a new project that emerged as the result of the annexation and proposed subdivision of the Brittingham Farm west of Wyoming Mill Road. The developer of the project has agreed to move the road to the west so that it aligns with Westover Drive. This would eliminate a substandard intersection and allow the new intersection t be signalized. In addition, the developer has agreed to donate the 15 acres that will remain east of the new alignment to Schutte Park for recreation fields.
#2 - College Road (From McKee Road to Kenton Road) Pedestrian and Shoulder Improvements
This project, which was last years’ top priority, includes the construction of curbs, sidewalks, bike lanes, and drainage systems for this section of the road. It ranked fifth on the overall Transportation Committee list in July 2003. Projects #1 through #4 were already in the advanced stages of funding or planning by February 2004. This project is currently scheduled for funding between FY 2009 and FY 2011. It was the highest ranking project by the Dover/Kent MPO.
#3 - Kenton Road (From Chestnut Grove Road to Route 8) Pedestrian and shoulder
This project includes the construction of curbs, sidewalks, bike lanes, and drainage systems for this section of the road. It was seventh in the July 2003 rankings and fourth in the Dover/Kent MPO ranking. A number of new developments have been proposed on Chestnut Grove Road near Kenton Road. This project was not recommended to Secretary Hayward as a top priority last year since it was outranked by the Crawford Carroll Avenue Extension; however, that project is not being recommended at this time since it is being further studied by DelDOT, along with the northern Route 13 Corridor.
Responding to Mr. Simmons, Mr. DePrima stated that the donation of the 15 acres was not contingent upon the Wyoming Mill Road Realignment, noting that the land will be donated as parkland to that subdivision either way. Mr. DePrima stated that there are many good reasons to have the road realigned. Mr. Simmons expressed concern with ranking the Wyoming Mill Road Realignment above the College Road Project, noting that College Road is heavily traveled and should be a higher priority due to the safety issues in that area. Mr. DePrima advised members that the three items on the list were in no particular order and could be adjusted.
Mr. Ritter moved to recommend that Council President Williams send a letter to Transportation Secretary Nathan Hayward stating that the top three transportation projects for the City of Dover are: (1) Wyoming Mill Road Realignment; (2) College Road (From McKee Road to Kenton Road) Pedestrian and Shoulder Improvements; and (3) Kenton Road (From Chestnut Grove Road to Route 8) Pedestrian and Shoulder Improvements. The motion was seconded by Mr. Simmons and unanimously carried.
Discussion - Quality of Life Task Force (Chairman Ritter)
Mr. Ritter advised members that the creation of a Quality of Life Task Force would involve hiring four (4) new police officers who would report to a Community Policing supervisor. This past summer, the program ran for a little over a month and was very effective in controlling quality of life offenses.
Responding to Mr. Simmons, Chief Horvath stated that the Quality of Life Task Force would try to foresee problems before they arise. They will work throughout the City; however; they would not be focusing on just this type of offense. Responding to Mr. Ruane, Chief Horvath stated that this task force would be treated as a free-standing unit and would not be responding to routine complaints.
Mr. Ritter moved to recommend hiring four (4) additional police officers for the upcoming budget year to create the Quality of Life Task Force for the City, seconded by Mr. Simmons and unanimously carried.
Mr. Simmons moved for adjournment, seconded by Mr. Lakeman and unanimously carried.
Meeting Adjourned at 8:12 P.M.
Robert G. Ritter, Jr.