The issue of recreation on streets arose after a local resident requested a ban or regulations on portable basketball hoops set up on streets. She said the hoops were problematic, especially on cul-de-sacs, as the hoops drew children into the street.
Councilwoman Linda Hunt Williams said the resident’s complaint was not the first. “I think it’s time to see what other municipalities are doing and go to the next step,” she said.
The town attorney said Garner has a law against unlawful recreation devices; parents can be fined for being accomplices. He said Holly Springs is working on establishing a way to collect town citations in the $25 range.
Councilmen James Cobb and Tim Sack suggested writing the ordinance to include sports in addition to basketball.
“I think the (police) chief is anxious to support this,” said Mayor Dick Sears.
In other parks news at the meeting, the council entered into a joint use agreement for the use and maintenance of facilities at Holly Grove Middle School.
As part of the agreement, the town is to invest in improvements at the school, including a concessions building, a lighting and sound system, and a scoreboard for the multi-purpose field, as well as a lighting and sound system, irrigation system, scoreboard, and dugout and scorer’s canopies for the softball field.
The town also will maintain these facilities. In turn, the town can jointly use the softball field, multipurpose field and track, parking areas and drive accesses with the school.
“Joint use agreements with the middle school and, quite frankly, with all of our schools, allow us to work as a team,” Sears said after the meeting. “We do some of the upkeep and take care of the fields. … We can use that facility on site, which I think our citizens really appreciate.”
In other meeting business, the council approved spending $70,000 to update to the town’s comprehensive transportation plan. The new transportation plan will address a variety of transportation issues, including planning for multiple modes of transportation, regional and neighborhood traffic.
Surrounding municipalities, regulatory agencies and state agencies will be involved in forming the plan.
Also, public meetings will be held and an advisory committee will be formed.
“We’ve been needing and wanting to do this for several years,” said Kenrda Parrish, senior engineer with the town.
The plan is to be completed in about eight months.
The council voted to develop a bicycle transportation plan, which will include a ranking of proposed bicycle improvement projects.
“This lays them all out … and ranks them, so as funds become available you can start moving down your priority list,” Parrish said.
The cost for the plan is $40,000, which is to be funded partially by the state Department of Transportation. The town is to pay $12,000.
The council also approved a municipal agreement with the state Department of Transportation for $65,000 for traffic signal installation at the Avent Ferry Rd. and Piney Grove Wilbon Rd. intersection.
Parrish said the town has petitioned the state for a signal at that intersection for years.
“Every year they do counts and say it’s not warranted,” Parrish said. “This year it is.” Parrish said the signal should be operational by October.
As part of the consent agenda, the council adopted an ordinance establishing a 25 mph speed limit on a portion of Main St. The council also adopted a $235,000 budget amendment to appropriate 911 revenues for the purchase of radio consoles and entered into a $5,500 contract for pump station permitting at the business park.
The town also entered into an agreement with Wake County for the town to provide fire protection services to areas of the town and outside the town in return for receiving fire taxes collected by Wake County. The agreement also includes a mutual aid services agreement in which the town agrees to assist other departments in other service areas as needed.
During the public comment period, an Apex resident representing Soroptimist International spoke to the council about human trafficking, describing it as slavery involving sex or labor. She said, in North Carolina, 15 cases were added by Legal Aid of NC in the past nine months.