Parking on certain streets in Pinehurst will be prohibited after action by the City Council on Tuesday. At least six streets were identified where private vehicles being parked by the curb are causing problems for emergency vehicles to respond to properties on those streets.
City Administrator Robbie Hood stated the parking on the streets is a safety issue. Citizens parking their cars on both sides of the street create what becomes a one-lane road which can be a serious problem if an emergency vehicle drives on that street when another vehicle is coming from the opposite direction. “Somebody has to stop; somebody has to backup. So, while you’re trying to determine that, somebody is in need of help. That’s what this is all about,” Hood described.
Pinehurst Fire Chief Shon Branham explained that his department’s fire trucks need more room to operate than the normal passenger vehicle. Branham warned, “If there is a structure fire and we can’t get through there’s a good chance of losing the property.”
The parking restrictions would cover portions of Lark, Heron, Lancelot, Camelot, Raven, and West Harding. The City Council approved the recommendation of Public Works Director John Toney by making it illegal to park vehicles on those streets.
A question of fines and enforcement of the new parking restrictions were referred to Pinehurst Police Chief Fred Hanauer. He indicated that Municipal Judge Derry Dunn might recommend the amount for fines similar to other ordinances in the city.
Hanauer and Hood would then have to determine the policy for enforcing the new parking restrictions with maybe a grace period. “We want compliance, we don’t want to give fines. We just want the citizens to comply for their own safety and the safety of the other citizens of Pinehurst,” Hanauer replied.
Code Enforcement Officer Harry Vine with the technical help of Justin Trahan gave a PowerPoint presentation on the floodplain. Vine pointed out the runoff from rainfall eventually returns to the lakes and bayous of the area which is where most of the drinking water for the area is derived. He emphasized citizens need to avoid allowing contaminates including even grass clippings from washing down storm drains.
The City Council approved accountant Keri Michutka to perform the annual audit for Pinehurst when the fiscal year ends on September 30, 2019. City Secretary Debbie Cormier recommended Michutka do the audit praising her for the job she did the last two years on the audit.
Pinehurst will be part of the Interlocal contract with the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission relating to the Planning, Development, Operation, and Provision of the 9-1-1 service. Chief Hanauer said the contract is standard procedure with the beginning of Hurricane Season.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-