Springfield approves radar use

By Sandi Van Orden
Posted: June 11, 2008 6:06 p.m.

The Springfield City Council approved resolutions authorizing condemnation for easements if necessary for the new water lines in unincorporated areas and authorizing the police department to use radar.

Mayor Barton Alderman said the resolution to allow condemnation for easements has to do with the project to combine the two wells.

“We would have no authority to condemnation if it comes to that outside the city. That would have to be done by the county,” Alderman said.

He said this would be a joint resolution by both governmental bodies.

City manager Brett Bennett said the city must approve the resolution first before the county commission acts.

“We hope not to have to use it,” he said. “This just has to be in place in case we need it.”

He said negotiations for easements are going smoothly currently.

The resolution passed unanimously.

Police Chief Paul Wynn said his department already has state approval to use radar on many roads in the city.

“Let me clarify one thing — our permit’s still valid,” Wynn said.

He said as he was doing research, he wanted to make sure all the paperwork is done appropriately. Wynn said he used the same resolution that was recently approved by Guyton.

Council member Butch Kieffer asked if there were certain streets where radar can be used and some it cannot.

Wynn said there are streets that are permittable, and those are permitted by the Department of Transportation.

“If they are not two-tenths of a mile long, the DOT will not give you a permit,” Wynn said.

Wynn said there was a situation on one street where the city had a permit to use radar, and the residents asked for speed bumps.

“Once you put a speed bump, that voids your permit on that roadway,” he said.

He said there are several things that could make a road ineligible to have radar used. Wynn said the DOT will check speed limits as part of the approval process.

“They have to check,” Wynn said. “It can’t be over 7 percent grade, which we don’t have a 7 percent grade in Effingham County anyway, unless you’re jumping out of a tree. There are a few things.”

Kieffer asked if the grade of a road gave a driver more leeway to slow down coming into a speed limit.

“That depends on the vehicle, the caliber size and how big your foot is,” Wynn said.

Wynn said the state will look at curves and other road conditions as it approves speed limits.

“There are certain things that equate into everything,” he said.

He said with the exception of new areas to the city, all roads that are acceptable for the permit have one. There are two new subdivisions in the city that Wynn intends to request a permit in order to run radar.

That resolution also passed unanimously.