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Traffic Study ordinance stalls

The fate of an ordinance requiring real estate developers furnish the city a study detailing the impacts additional traffic created by a new development won’t be decided until the April 4 City Council meeting.

Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen and Councilman Ramone Gumke spoke against the ordinance during the Building, Planning and Zoning Committee meeting Tuesday.

Andersen said she didn’t want Jamestown to be perceived as unfriendly to developers. She estimated a traffic impact study could cost a developer as much as $10,000 for a large project.

“We’re already requiring a lot,” Andersen said. “This would be an additional expense for as few as 1,000 trips per day (from a development).”

Gumke said the ordinance could be modified to require the developer to furnish estimated traffic numbers but make the city responsible for paying for any engineering study on traffic patterns.

Councilman Dan Buchanan said the ordinance was needed and would be worth the money.

“This does not put an undue burden on anyone but helps avoid bad planning,” he said. “It could keep bottlenecks from occurring.”

The ordinance is scheduled for its second reading at the April 4 City Council meeting and can be defeated, passed or amended, depending on the council’s vote.

In other business, the Finance and Legal Committee recommended a revised job description for the city engineer’s position. The new job description removes administrative responsibility from the city engineer and moves it to the city administrator’s position. The City Council will consider how to proceed with recruiting a new engineer at its April 4 meeting.

The Civic Center and Promotion Committee also recommended that Coca-Cola be awarded the soft drink contract for the Jamestown Civic Center for the next five years.

The contract is awarded based on product pricing and payments to the Civic Center for advertising rights, according to Jeff Fuchs, city administrator.