By Wade Linville – News Democrat
Parking issues and park improvements were among the topics discussed during the Village of Aberdeen’s regular monthly council meeting held April 4. Those parking along roadways in the narrow village streets of Aberdeen may begin receiving citations in the near future if council approves no parking laws.
For more than 20 years the Village of Aberdeen has been faced with parking issues that in some cases have raised safety concerns, and the parking issue arose once again during the village’s most recent council meeting.
“Some of the streets are extremely narrow, and I don’t see how any vehicle could park on them whatsoever,” Aberdeen Police Chief Fred Hampton said to council during Monday’s meeting. “It needs to be addressed,” Aberdeen Mayor Jason Phillips responded to the parking issues on village streets.
Hampton did not want to begin enforcing parking laws and issuing parking citations to those parking their vehicles on streets deemed to be too narrow before getting the permission of council. It was decided that Hampton “spot out” the roadways within the village and at his request gain permission from council in relation to how strictly they would like to see him enforce parking laws with the focus being
fairness. “I want to be fair and just to everyone,” Hampton explained to council members.
According to Hampton, there are a couple of problem areas that have already been examined where the roads are said to be far too narrow for parking. Dundee Valley is one of those roadways under speculation of being a “problem street” for parking.
Sheri Stafford, member of Aberdeen Concerned Citizens, also appeared before council during the April 4 meeting to present the improvements planned for the village’s park located along the Ohio River. Stafford announced that there are three grants Aberdeen Concerned Citizens is currently working on for the park for improvements that would help with the purchase of playground equipment, water fountains, and a security system.
Council was pleased to hear that the group of concerned citizens has already secured the funds for water fountains and playground equipment. For the purchase of the new water fountains, Stafford said they have received a grant from the Hayswood Foundation; and the grant for the playground equipment is through E.W. Scripps Channel 9 News.
The playground equipment will include equipment for children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and down syndrome. According to Stafford, Aberdeen will have the only park in the vicinity with such playground equipment.
Aberdeen Concerned Citizens’ next goal is to obtain grants for the funding of a security system and possibly lighting at the park. “You all have done a tremendous job with the park,” Aberdeen Council
Member Billie Eitel said to Stafford just before the Aberdeen Concerned Citizens’ member received applause from council and members of the audience.
In other action, council was read the resignation letter of council member Bill Wilson, whose resignation was said to be for “reasons beyond his control.” Wilson’s resignation was official March 29, leaving an open seat on council. Council members have 30 days to appoint a new council member. If council does not approve a new council member within the 30-day period, the mayor will have the right to appoint a new council member of his choosing to fill the open seat.