By Nathan Prewett
For the Tribune
ARGO — At tonight’s meeting on Monday, the council returned to discussion of the sign ordinance, an effort that has been in the works for several months. While members of the council, including Mayor Betty Bradley, expressed satisfaction with most of the items, there were some changes made to the draft.
At the July 9 meeting, City Attorney Scott Barnett brought a draft that addressed varying issues of signs in the city such as “litter on a stick” or signs being posted on telephone poles as well as signs being prohibited at areas such as on Right of Ways.
Bradley raised concerns on billboards that may be of a size that would cover smaller business signs. Similar to Bradley’s opinion, Councilor Tony Aldredge said that there were no restrictions on business signs and that guidelines should be included to regulate size and distance of separation between signs.
After discussion it was decided to go ahead and approve the ordinance, which can be amended later if required. The vote by the council was unanimous.
Afterwards, the truck ordinance was discussed and voted on. The ordinance draft was a version that was revised after Officer Jack Como of the Argo Police Department made suggestions for changes. Like the sign ordinance, the truck ordinance has been in talks for some months to address the problem of trucks driving on roads such Blackjack and causing potential safety hazards to pedestrians.
Councilors Gordon (Corky), Ann Cowan and Ronnie Bowman voted against approving the current ordinance. The vote was split, causing the the motion to die. Massey said that he took issue with some of the language in the draft, in particular with the following:
“Commercial vehicles prohibited: No person shall operate any commercial vehicle except as otherwise provided by this article for the following purposes: pickup and delivery of household goods and furniture within the city, delivery of finished wholesale and retail products except petroleum to the merchants and individuals within the city.”
He said that this may hinder some trucks carrying items such as gravel that are not finished products to others in the city. Bradley said that it would qualify as local delivery but Massey said that was not included in the ordinance. A debate followed on how the ordinance regulates certain vehicles traveling on particular roads.
“We’re all concerned with Blackjack road,” Massey said. “That and Roulain, that’s the only two thru roads. And we don’t govern Blackjack Road. The reason I was against this is I don’t think we can govern Blackjack Road. If we get a letter from the county requesting us to restrict Blackjack Road I’ll look at it (differently). This is no good if St. Clair doesn’t want it.”
Councilor Ann Brown that she hopes for Barnett to readdress the concerns brought up to be discussed again at a future meeting.
Shortly before adjournment, Bradley and the council briefly discussed the possibility of implementing a two-minute limit for each member to speak in order to reduce the time of meetings.
In other business, the council:
- Agreed to sponsor community service by the Argo Teen Council for National Night Out
- Discussed door scanner keypads for City Hall
- Heard from Bradley on repairing the city tractor and bushhog
- Heard from Bradley on sending letters to Argo businesses to request invoices on their vendors or suppliers
- Discussed a building permit ordinance to be drafted by the city attorney
The next Argo City Council meeting will be held on Aug. 13 at 6 p.m.