Newton decides against speed bumps


Drivers on Brown Avenue in Newton may not be seeing new speed bumps, but they can expect to see a greater police presence.

Nikki Nichols addressed the Newton Board of Aldermen in June asking the aldermen to consider installing speed bumps on Brown Avenue. She said last month that drivers were speeding down the road.

She said there have been signs put up to warn people about speeding, but it didn’t work. She believed the speed bumps would correct the problem. 

“I’ve got to be cautious when I’m backing out if you’re coming around that curve too fast,” Nichols said. “You’ve got all kinds of people coming through there speeding. We do have children. Of course, your kids are not supposed to be in the road, but if a ball rolls into the road, they’re going to go after it. Accidents happen, but we’re trying to prevent it from happening.”

Public Works Director Fred Snow said he examined the area, and they believe they have found a solution without putting in the costly speed breakers. They have decided to post new speed limit signs and step up patrols in that area to help keep speeders slowed down.

“I just didn’t think it justified a speed breaker right there,” Snow said. “I talked with the neighbors about it, and they were fine with it.”

Former Mayor David Carr said the city could put a speed breaker in, but it is recommended that it doesn’t for liability reasons.

“If anyone comes through they bust a muffler on it, we’re liable for it,” Carr said. “We’ve been very, very cautious about putting them out because of several reasons.”

In other business, the board:

• Will pay a final invoice of $1,249 to Innovative Design and Engineering Services LLC on the water well project and a final invoice of $33,485.90 to Layne Christensen Company when funds become available.

• Appointed Ward 2 Alderman Bob Bridges as Mayor Pro-Tempore.

• Appointed Ward 3 Alderman Eric McCalphia and Bridges as the delegate and alternate respectively for the MML Conference.

• Required TraxPlus to pay $4,880, 10 percent of the value of eight acres in the Newton Industrial Park, to secure the property with the rest being paid upon completion of the construction of its business development. If the business doesn’t begin construction within a year, the property will revert back to the City of Newton.

• Signed a 60-month financing agreement with Bancorp South to purchase its dozer and excavator equipment.

• Will purchase a new truck for the parks and recreation department at $20,396 and be financed for three years. The city will use leftover money in the Parks and Recreation budget and money from the city’s lodging tax to help pay for the project.

• Increased the number of bulletproof vests it will purchase for the police department from 14 vests at $513 to 16 vests at $456.

• Will pay Neel-Shaffer $740 for engineering services for the airport runway rehabilitation project when funds become available.

• Upgraded its terminal credit card service contract for fuel purchasing at $995 per year.

• Approved a grant for the runway rehabilitation project and accepted the low bid of $119,250 from Sunbelt despite the company not turning in a form stating it will purchase American-made goods. Airport director Ron Davis said the company turned the form in later after the bid deadline.

• Paid its claims docket totaling $79,353.07.