Ogdensburg councilors table bill to nix speed zones near former schools
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 11:37 am

By JIMMY LAWTON

OGDENSBURG -- Concerns from city councilor Jennifer Stevenson led lawmakers Monday to table a plan to eliminate speed zones near two former school buildings.

Due to the closure of St. Marguerite D'Youville Academy and Lincoln Elementary School councilors planned to eliminate 20 mph zones on Gates Street, Jay Street, Judson Street, Knox Street, Mansion Avenue and South Rosseel Street.

Stevenson said she may agree to remove the speed limits in the future, but said she would prefer to wait until the city school district sells Lincoln school. She said the fields could still be used for sports and other school activities and feared the city might be moving too hastily eliminate the speed limits.

“Right now, I am not in favor of removing the speed zones,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson also noted that there are still playgrounds at the school. She said the city is also unaware of what the building will be used for in the near future.

“It could be an educational center,” she said.

Councilors Wayne Ashley and Michael Morley disagreed. Ashley pointed out that the law would be largely unenforceable so long as school was not in session.

“I think this ordinance should pass,” Ashley said. “It’s impossible for us to enforce.”

Police Chief Rick Polniak confirmed for the city that the speed limits only apply when school or school activities are taking place. Polniak said there are some exceptions where the city can have speed zones without schools, but he would need to look into the matter before he could identify the necessary circumstances.

Despite that finding, the board agreed to table the resolution until more information could be obtained. All councilors agreed on postponing the removal of speed zones, except councilor Morley.