Council Tables “No Right On Red” Turn Request
By Warren Slaughter
Special to the Texan
Wanting some input from the Dalhart Independent School District Board, the Dalhart City Council voted to table a measure that would make turning right from Texas Blvd. onto Tennessee Blvd. during a red light illegal. The action was taken at the council’s regular meeting held on Tuesday, December 22, 2009.
There have evidently been some close calls between motorists turning right and school crossing guards at the intersection. Also, there are no provisions for making the “no right turn on red” law applicable only during school hours; it has to be 24/7 or not at all. Police Chief Tom Sanford believes the problem could be solved if the crossing guard would use a traffic cone to prevent motorists from making the right hand turn when the crossing is occupied. Traffic cannot turn right until the crossing guard removes the cone.
Councilman Chris Bell said that the safety of the children is more important than convenience. He then moved that the item be tabled so that information from the school board could be obtained. The motion was seconded and passed by the council.
The council had an audience with Harold Wilkinson, concerning his property on Channing Street that is out of compliance with city ordinance. Council members offered volunteer labor to help Mr. Wilkinson clean up the lots and bring them into compliance. Mr. Wilkinson requested a year to get the property into compliance. Many council members felt that this would be too long of a time, considering there are other properties in the city that need to be cleaned up, and the owners of these properties might also want long periods of time to get this done. It was also pointed out that Mr. Wilkinson received notice that his property was out of compliance three years ago. The council passed a motion that gives Mr. Wilkinson until June 1, 2010, to get his property into compliance with city ordinance, or other steps will be taken.
“I want to go on record that we (the council) are not the bad guys here. We’re just trying to uphold an ordinance that is on the books,” Mayor Kevin Caddell said. “I think we’ve been very generous with time and the offer of help.”
The council held public hearing concerning the rezoning of a lot at 105 N. Norman for the purpose of placing a manufactured home. No one from the public spoke during the hearing and it was closed. Council members then voted to adopt Ordinance 2009-32 to rezone the lot at 105 N. Norman to allow the placement of the manufactured home.
The Boys Ranch Fire Department will be getting 10 air packs as a donation from the City of Dalhart and the Dalhart Volunteer Fire Department. The air packs are older and are not needed by the fire department, but they still have some useful life. An air pack is a self-contained breathing apparatus that allows a firefighter to enter a smoke-filled structure, Fire Marshal Curtis Brown explained.