This story has been updated to correct an reporting error occurring during the transcription of the audio recording of the meeting.
BRISTOL – A number of issues were resolved during the Bristol Town Council meeting on Thursday night. The meeting began with public comment on the County Road 29 railroad crossing closure and concerns surrounding the Raber Golf Course.
Vicky Stanley and Chris Perry came to discuss the closing of the County Road 29 railroad crossing due to the opening of the new crossing at Pearl Street and Ponderosa Street.
Perry first thanked the council for closing the crossing, as excessive traffic, especially truck traffic, has negatively affected their quiet country road.
“Without proper enforcement by factories or law enforcement, it’s been difficult to combat,” she said.
The problem for Stanley and Perry, isn’t so much the closing of the railroad. It is the fact that Stanley and her neighbor have been asked by the town to offer up portions of their land for the state-mandated cul-de-sac required at the up-and-coming dead end which will sit at the tracks once they are closed. Rather than a cul-de-sac, the property owners sought aprons at the end of their driveways, so they could maintain more of their yardage.
Town Council President Ron Norman explained to the duo that school bus, fire truck and garbage truck must be able to turn around without backing up at the dead end.
“Every time you put it into reverse and back up, you are risking hitting a person,” Town Council President Ron Norman said.
“If you do that on my property, I’m not going to have anything left,” Stanley said. “Our front yard is our haven. It’s where we enjoy our hummingbirds and you’re taking the majority of my land."
Stanley owns a mobile home which has been situated on the property since 1988. Of her many concerns, including a loss of land, is her ability to renew her license to keep the mobile home on the land should the town take a portion of it, and also the value of her property.
A cul-de-sac at County Road 29 would require approximately 50 feet in diameter from the center of the road, or 50 feet from both sides of the road, a portion in a crescent moon shape from the neighbor's yard. However, 30 or 45 feet of that distance (depending on the size of the road) is believed to already be accounted for by right-of-way law. The town can use Eminent Domain to legally take the additional five to 20 feet they will need from property owners, but council members don't want to do that if they don't have it.
Town manager Bill Wuthrich assured Stanley and Perry that the amount of land needed for the cul-de-sac was much less than she believed it to be, and Norman requested to meet with the concerned neighbors to further discuss and view architectural plans and designs in the hopes that they can come to an agreement.
Related to the future of the new railroad crossing that will replace the County Road 29 one in town, Forest River and Mission Woodworking Products have agreed to work with the town on placing the new road. The Town of Bristol has provided the conceptual design for the new railroad crossing to the Grand Elk Railroad.
Mickey Taylor attended the Thursday night meeting on her own behalf and of her neighbor Scott Johnson, both of whom have been experiencing an insurgence of belligerent golfers coming onto their property to hit out-of-bounds golf balls.
Taylor explained to the council that she has tried to confront individuals or groups who venture into her yard to continue their game but has had very little success overall.
“I finally filed a police report,” she admitted.
Officers have taken her report, spoken with the Raber Golf Course Owner Jeff Carmine and wooden stakes have been added to serve as markers between the her property and the golf course, but Taylor and her neighbors are still concerned.
“I’ve found golf balls right by my windows in the front yard,” she said. “I would just like for it to stop.”
Town officials hope to gather the parties involved to discuss possible preventative options, including roping the area off, fencing the properties and monitoring golf carts.
Other town council matters:
• A bridge located at SR 15 and SR 120, known as Vistula Bridge, is scheduled to be fixed. Due to the frequent use the bridge, the town decided that, rather than shut down the bridge entirely over a weekend, they would alternate closing each side of the road to repair it over the course of four weekdays. The start date for the project has not yet been established.
• Bristol Town Council has approved a purchase from the police department of a new 2018 Ford Explorer to replace the white Ford Impala labelled as ‘9.’ The replacement comes after a string of repairs amounting to nearly $3,000 and lack of reliability of the vehicle during police chases in recent months.
• A boil order was issued for a portion of the town on Sept. 2 due to a lack of water pressure. The issue resulted from too many fire hydrants being flushed at once. Hydrants are still in the process of being flushed throughout town, and Town Manager Bill Wuthrich and the fire department are working together to come up with a solution for the difficulty opening a few select hydrants.
• The pre-adoption hearing for the town budget was held on Thursday. There were no contenders in attendance.
• Toni Miller has been selected as the newest park board member. Miller is known as an active and longterm member of the community and will replace Sara Stalter, who requested to leave the board due to time constraints with her current schedule.
• Town cleanup is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sept. 28 - 30 at the town maintenance department on Bloomingdale Drive. There will be people on staff to help dispose of items. An E-dumpster will be available for unwanted electronics at a cost of $25 cash-only per electronic item, due to the cost of disposal. Items not accepted are solvents and paints, medications, batteries, refrigerants, tires and oil.
The next meeting of the Bristol Town Council will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Bristol Town Hall.