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City seeks grant for problem speeding locations

The top public safety official in Mitchell is awaiting word on a grant that, if received, would allow officers to provide extra time and attention to five areas of the city known for high rates of speeding drivers.

"We'll know more in a couple of months," said Lyndon Overweg, Mitchell chief of public safety.

The $8,060 state highway safety grant would pay for officers' overtime for more speed enforcement in five problem areas in the city where more than 3,300 citations and warnings have been issued in the past four years.

Last week, Overweg presented the grant application to the City Council. They approved it by a 5-3 vote.

The five problem areas include a stretch of North Main Street between Seventh and 12th Avenues, where the number of citations and warnings jumped from 65 in 2006 to 159 in 2007 and 214 in 2008. In 2009, the number decreased to 169.

Another portion of North Main Street going from 2300 N. Main to 4800 N. Main had 215 citations and warnings issued in 2006, 229 in 2007, 326 in 2008 and 358 in 2009.

Citations and warnings issued between the 300 and 700 blocks of South Burr Street dropped from 270 in 2006 to 172 in 2007 and 129 in 2008 but shot back up in 2009 to 262.

Between the 900 and 1800 blocks of South Rowley Street, citations and warnings dropped from 64 in 2006 to 53 in 2007 and 36 in 2008 but slightly increased to 39 in 2009.

The final problem area in Mitchell is on Norway Avenue between the 400 East block and the 500 West block, where 126 citations and warnings were issued in 2006, 151 in 2007, 145 in 2008 and 124 in 2009.

"These areas have been traditional 'hot spots' for our local speeds," reads the grant application. "These areas also represent many of our car crash incidents."

According to the application, the grant would allow officers to actively work the five zones for "five additional speed enforcement hours per week."

This, according to the application, would make way for officers to attempt an increase in contact with motorists by 10 percent.

A radar trailer, which displays the speed an automobile is traveling as it approaches the trailer, would also be used in the five zones as well as school zone areas during the year.