Nevada City Council members discussed traffic and signage between Nevada High School and Central Elementary during Monday night’s meeting, reigniting the “energy” around creating safer intersections.
While numerous intersections were discussed, the council voted unanimously to make necessary changes between two uncontrolled intersections around Central Elementary. Other intersections will be considered during the school and city joint committee meeting in January.
According to Nevada Mayor Brett Barker, the school corridor’s traffic and signage has been a topic of discussion for roughly five years, as there are multiple yield signs and uncontrolled intersections between the high school and elementary.
“It’s been brought up and, in 2016, our staff had suggested back to the school the possibility of those mobile stop units that could be rolled out before pick up and drop off times,” Barker said. “That was sent to the school and it kind of died.”
Nevada Superintendent Steve Gray resurrected the idea again during a city and school joint committee meeting in April, where it was decided the city staff would research options to bring back at the next meeting this fall.
After former city administrator Matt Mardesen left his position in October, that meeting did not take place.
“Now we are circling back on the issue,” Barker said.
The council debated the benefits of a traffic study, determined intersections where signage is most needed and considered what options should be sent to the committee meeting in January.
Council member Brian Hanson said he thinks the Ninth Street and Tenth Street intersections on H Avenue are the biggest issue, as both are uncontrolled, and suggested the council take a deeper look at intersections around the middle school as well.
“I think it’s a no-brainer … We all know what the problem is, we just have to decide what to do about it,” he said. “What does it hurt to have yield signs at least?”
Council member Luke Spence moved to put a four-way stop at Ninth Street and H Avenue, and eastbound yield signs at Tenth Street and H Avenue. The motion passed unanimously.
“That’s the ordinance staff will draw. It will come to council and there will be three readings, so the public has three opportunities to comment on that before it goes into effect,” Barker said. “(The council) would like the city-school committee to talk about the whole corridor and the other yield signs in between the high school, middle school and Central.”
Kim Stevens, who spoke during the meeting on behalf of the Nevada PTA, said her biggest concern is, with options being sent to the committee, whether the idea will disappear once again.
“Some people have said they’ve been talking about it for six, seven or eight years, wanting to generate some energy on this. My biggest concern, now that we’ve generated energy, if it gets pushed back to the city-school meeting, will it die there again? That’s where it died last year,” she said.
“I am happy we are talking about it, I support any option that keeps us moving to a point where we have some changes at those interactions.”
New interim city administrator
The Nevada City Council voted Monday evening to have Public Safety Director Ricardo Martinez II take over as interim city administrator.
Martinez will replace City Clerk Kerin Wright, who was appointed as the temporary interim city administrator in October after the city was unable to generate enough interest in the open position.
The city aimed to make a decision on a permanent city administrator at the Nov. 12 meeting and planned to reevaluate the interim position if the permanent slot was not filled within 90 days of that meeting, as previously reported.
Martinez will perform the duties of city administrator in addition to his current role for approximately six months while the council continues its search for a permanent candidate. He will receive $13.94 per hour in addition to his annual public safety salary of $90,474.
Officer sworn in
Andrew Swanson, of Madrid, was sworn in as a new officer for the Nevada Police Department during Monday’s meeting.
According to Martinez, Swanson’s first day will be next Monday. He will go to the academy on Jan. 2 with an expected graduation in April.
“I’m very pleased to have him starting with our agency,” Martinez said.