Tractor-trailers will no longer be allowed to park overnight in residential areas of the Village of Hutsonville.
After discussion the issue for several months, village trustees voted to prohibit parking semis in residential areas - tractors, trailers or both - unless they are inside a covered and enclosed building. Semis may park in commercial areas or at the parking lot next to the bridge when space allows.
While the ordinance may seem to have been aimed at semis parked in front of the old grade school on South Pleasant, which are being used for long- (15 months) or short-term storage, it was pointed out that aging infrastructure in the residential parts of town cannot stand up to the weight and abuse caused by trucks and trailers. It was also noted while parked overnight many trucks need to start diesel engines periodically at all hours, causing a nuisance.
The fine for parking a semi in a residential area will be $500. This does not apply to short-term parking for work or while patronizing local businesses. Mayor Tina Callaway said she had been in contact with owners of the trailers in front of the grade school and has given them until Jan. 31 to move them or they will receive a $500 fine each day they remain. The board supported her decision.
In other business Callaway reported on two other properties at 408 S. High and 301 N. Rose. The South High property, which is halfway demolished, has been sold and the new owners will continue with the demolition and cleanup. The property on North Rose, which caught fire Nov. 2, has been declared a total loss by the insurance company. Callaway reported the owners are looking for a new residence that will accommodate their dogs, and are making arrangements to have the house demolished.
After last weekend's four-inch rain, residents are now concerned about water in the area of Cherry Street, and the old railroad bed. The village will be looking at current drainage systems and possibly extending the drainage pipe that was installed last summer along the old rail bed. It was pointed out that extra drainage pipe on private property was all paid for by the home owner.
It was also noted that flash flooding and flood waters have been higher in many parts of the village than they were 20 years ago. While aging infrastructure and changes to drainage systems may be part of the problem, it is the consensus that the village is seeing a greater volume of water as the result of increased use of agricultural drainage systems in the area.
The village is also looking for police officers willing to work part-time for the village. There is currently a general shortage of police officers, and many small towns are finding it difficult to find those willing to work part-time.
The next scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 11.