COLUMBUS — In an effort to improve traffic flow, the Columbus City Council Tuesday voted to install signs stipulating trucks use the right lane of Highway 45 North, between Highway 82 and Bluecutt Road.
The signs, which will be placed below speed limit signs, will “help with possible safety issues regarding truck traffic,” noted engineer John Cunningham, who attended the meeting in the absence of City Engineer Kevin Stafford.
Columbus Mayor Robert Smith noted he earlier received “complaints from citizens regarding rush-hour traffic” who asked the city “require trucks to stay in the right lane, unless they”re getting ready to turn.”
In other matters, the council:
- Granted permission to Tim Hogan, of Meridian-based Premier Outdoor Advertising, to construct an electronic “outdoor billboard” on Highway 45 North, north of the Carl Hogan automobile dealership property.
Hogan explained the LED sign will have Amber Alert capabilities and flash alerts if a child is missing in Lowndes County, offer “up to 5,000 exposures a month” for the city to “recognize individuals” for outstanding achievements or accomplishments, and flash time, temperature and weather information.
Additionally, Premier Outdoor Advertising will give the city 1 percent of revenue generated from the sign and pay for up to $1,000 of landscaping for the area around the sign.
Vice Mayor and Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin explained he was against the proposal last year, but has since changed his mind.
“We were trying to clean up Highway 45,” he said, of his earlier opposition. “But to do some things, like the Amber alert, could benefit the city. And I think (the sign will be) far enough away from the mainstream Highway 45 (traffic) to distract drivers in traffic, so I”m in favor of it.”
In June, the council passed a 60-day moratorium on LED signs to allow the city”s ordinance be revised with new language governing the quality of LED signs, but the council granted special permission to Premier Outdoor Advertising, which has two existing LED signs in the city.
- Approved a request to spend $9,000 to update Geographical Information System mapping for new software the council and Lowndes County Board of Supervisors earlier voted to purchase for city and county E911 operations.
County Administrator Ralph Billingsley explained the mapping will be done by the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District for a cost of $18,000 to be split between the city and county.
The city and county each will pay $4,500 on Jan. 1 and $4,500 on Oct. 1, 2011, splitting the cost between two fiscal budget years.
The supervisors earlier approved a request to do the same.
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