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Council discusses traffic issues at Main, Main Cross intersection

by Mark Cheffey

The Palmyra City Council discussed traffic issues at Main and Main Cross and approved, after the fact, the emergency expenditure of $53,000 by the Board of Public Works during the regular meeting last Thursday.

Police Chief Eddie Bogue informed the council of on-going traffic issues at the intersection of Main and Main Cross, noting there were two crashes there the previous week.

However, he offered no solutions to the problem.

“It’s always operator error,” Bogue said of the crash causes.  “We’re starting to see more operator errors.”

The intersection has been the topic of city council discussion at various times over decades with no solutions brought forward.

Making it a four-way stop is usually part of the discussion, but has always been rejected. Reasons for not adding stop signs for Main Street traffic include the fact that southbound motorists would have to stop on a steep incline, and the city would also have to work with MoDOT on any solution, since Main Street is state maintained as Business 61.

Bogue also noted the convenience store on the northeast corner of the intersection complicates the issue.

“There are a lot of conflict points there,” Bogue said.

Council members also expressed skepticism about possible solutions.

“I don’t think a four-way stop is practical,” said Mayor Loren Graham.

Bogue was asked to check with MoDOT to see if the department might have some ideas.

The council voted 5-0 in favor of approving the BPW’s emergency purchase for a transformer for the city’s main substation at a cost of $53,402.

The purchase was already made due to its importance to the city’s electrical system.

“If that transformer had gone out, we would have been in serious trouble,” Graham said.

The council also approved spending at much as $500 to fix an ongoing sewer smell problem in city hall.

City Attorney James Lemon reported the city had its first municipal court hearings through the association circuit court.

The hearings were led by Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd and were streamed over the internet rather than in actual court.

Lemon said another hearing was being scheduled as the city works to catch up on a back-log of cases postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It think it’s going to work very nicely,” Lemon said.

Council member Early Meyers reported the Personnel Committee continues to work with a law firm to update the city’s employee handbook.

Councilman Brock Fahy said the Police Committee had met and discussed possible ways to better hire and retain police officers.

Chuck Anderson, the city’s new code enforcer and building inspector, told the council he would like to meet with the Ordinance Committee about some possible new ordinances.