Large vehicles in Pinehurst time parked on city streets may be numbered
There may soon be a new time limit for large vehicles parked on the city of Pinehurst streets.
The city council discussed and tabled amending an ordinance to limit the time to better manage on-street parking of recreational vehicles, buses, commercial vehicles and other large vehicles as they met Tuesday night for their regular meeting.
Police chief Fred Hanauer explained the current ordinance enacted in 1965 makes it illegal for large vehicles to park more than 48 hours on the city’s streets. The police department, in turn, has recently received three complaints from residents who live on Harding Circle about a resident who has been parking his RV in violation of the ordinance.
Hanauer said he believes the resident’s interpretation of the ordinance is to wait to the last minute, drive the RV a short distance and park again for another two days. The chief is concerned even larger vehicles such as 18-wheelers may park on the streets.
Hanauer recommended revising the ordinance for vehicles exceeding 20 feet in length to be allowed to park a maximum of three hours on Pinehurst streets to prevent any future problems.
Councilman Dan Barclay was curious how the three hours limit was arrived at. His concern was residents moving into or out of their houses would need to park large vehicles for a longer period of time.
City Attorney Tommy Gunn suggested residents could obtain a specific permit from city hall to park longer than the three hours allotted.
Barclay favored a 10 to 12 hours limit for the permits.
Mayor Pete Runnels said certain conditions would need to exist to issue the permit.
City Administrator Joe Parkhurst added most loading, unloading and cleaning of large vehicles should be completed within three hours.
The motion was tabled to work on the language of the ordinance before the next council meeting.
Parkhurst also updated the city council on Hurricane Ike 2.2 Grant Projects.
He said the city is currently $200,000 over bid and is working with the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission who will redistribute the funds. Pinehurst is on top of the list of cities who will receive the funds, but they will have to wait until January to receive them.
Parkhurst explained the city originally was to receive $500,000 in grants. The city was required to pay $100,000 in side costs such as grant administrators. The bids for the projects, likewise, came in at $600,000 for the $200,000 over bid.
Three lift stations damaged by Hurricane Ike saltwater intrusion on 34th Street, Warbler Street and Broad Street will be replaced as well as the bridge on Lexington Street that is rapidly becoming a safety issue due to storm damage.
On a side note, Parkhurst said the city is working on installing new sewer lines on West Park Street due to back-ups.
In other city business, another agenda item was also tabled after discussion for changes in negotiations between the city and the Pinehurst Police Officers’ Association contract for fiscal year 2013-2014.
Parkhurst reported the association requested boots for patrol be included in the clothing allowance. All officers combined have a total of $2,000 or the entire year for clothing allowance.
The city currently limit boot purchases to $100 per year. The officers want to purchase the boots at the vendor of their choice and be reimbursed.
City Secretary Debbie Cormier asked why should the officers be reimbursed for the boots when they are not reimbursed for other articles of clothing.
Hanauer said the officers like the option to acquire the boots from other outlets in addition to vendors the city has contracts with. The police chief has final approval of the footwear to be worn.
The item was tabled due to some confusion over the language of the request such as if the city will pay up to $100 for boots and if the $100 for boots is already stated in the contract.
Another request discussed was for police officers to be able to take police cars home as part of the contract.
The council recommended this be taken out of the contract with Hanauer, as police chief, saying who may take a car home at his discretion.
The officers also requested 168 hours in compensation time which would equal a full month. Parkhurst said that was out of the question and added four hours of their current comp time which would give the officers a total of 84 hours.