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LaFollette sets 20 MPH speed limit on Mullis Trail and Jane Way

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By PETER SAWYER

 Monday night, the LaFollette City Council voted to set a 20-mile per hour speed limit for Mullis Trail and Jane Way.

Before the members of the council voted to set a new speed limit for those streets, they listened to the concerns of four citizens from Mullis Trail about work that is currently underway.

“We’re having some serious issues with the way this project’s being done, the way it started out,” Bill Ryan said. Among these problems is access to the road and the height of a curb recently added to the street in order to keep water from draining onto their properties. The project isn’t yet complete, and the curb, due to its height, is keeping the residents from accessing their driveways. They are also having trouble accessing their yards with their vehicles because their yards are below the street level.

“How is this gonna be resolved? It’s unsightly, we would like to have some answers,” Ryan said.

LaFollette Public Works Department Head Jim Mullins intends to bring the level of the street up, so the vehicles will be able to move over the curb in order to access the driveways. The Roger’s Group will add more asphalt to the road to accomplish this, but won’t be able to until at least next week, Mullins said.

“No matter how much asphalt is put down, we don’t feel it will be enough to access our driveways,” Ryan said. 

If the curbs are still too high after the street is leveled, the curbs will be shaved some, Mullins said.

“We’re trying everything we can to resolve it, and we will resolve it,” Mullins said.

Hatmaker encouraged the residents to wait until the project was complete before it could be properly evaluated.

“Give us an opportunity to get in there and finish it up,” Hatmaker said. “If you give us the opportunity, we’ll fix the problem for you.”

Daniel Byrd had expressed concerns the council hadn’t appropriated enough money for Mullins to complete the project. Bolinger pointed out the council had appropriated what was asked for.

“If that amount won’t take care of the job, we’ll appropriate more,” he said.

“Whatever is necessary to do, we want you to do,” Hatmaker said to Mullins. “And if it’s going to be more expense, come back to us.”

Police Department

The council authorized LaFollette Police Chief Jimmie Jeffries to hire new officers part-time for six months before sending them for Police Officer Standard Training certification at the academy. The city will pay for officers to attend the academy for POST certification, and officers will work for the LPD for two years or pay back the cost of the academy.

“I think it’s a good policy,” Hatmaker said.

LUB

•The council members approved a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant that will be used for sewer line rehabilitation across the city.

•The council also approved Community Development Partners for $39,000 as grant administrator and Fulgum, MacIndoe and Associates as engineer for $4,700. The cost for these services will be paid out of the CDBG grant.

•The council approved a Rural Development loan and grant to fund a $2,125,000 project. This project includes the purchase and installation of 8,700 automated water meters, improvements at the Memorial Drive wastewater lift station and recoating units at the water treatment plant. The loan will provide $1,825,000 of the funds and the remaining $300,000 will come from the grant.