Blinkers off

City looks to fix Eastern/Highland traffic light by end of April
by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The blinking traffic light at the intersection of Eastern and Highland avenues should be blinking no more by the end of April.

Public Works Director William Immich reported to the City Council Tuesday that work should begin next month to repair the malfunctioning traffic light.

“By the end of April, it should be back to normal,” Immich stated.

He explained that the problem is with water getting into the wiring controlling the lights, which causes the computer controlling the signals to believe that there are conflicting signals, such as green for both streets, and default to flashing red in all directions.

“This is not a new problem, we get this problem every spring,” Immich noted. “Normally, it will last a week or so instead of months,” before the wires dry and the lights operate normally, he added.

Immich said the lights operated properly for about two days several weeks ago, but then shorted out again and went back to flashing.

Beacon Electric will come in in early April to examine the system and replace conduits and wiring, at a cost of around $14,000, according to Immich.

“They think they can do it in a week, a week and a half,” Immich told the council. Traffic will not be interrupted by the work, he said, but the lights will be turned off and the intersection will be controlled by stop signs until the work is done.

He noted that the money for the work is available in the Public Works Department budget. Beacon could replace just the faulty wires or conduits, but Immich advised doing the whole project now rather than risk having to have the electricians come back in to do more work in the future.

Deputy Police Chief Christopher Ringel led council members through the city’s new website (www.plymouthgov.com), which has been up and running since the beginning of the year.

“We wanted to develop something fresh and new, so that’s what we did,” Ringel, who is the city’s information services director, said.

“We’ve got a lot of info and it’s all there and easy to get to,” Ringel explained. “This is the community’s website, the portal for information for Plymouth city government.”

He said most of the work was done in-house, researching other municipal websites.

City Administrator Brian Yerges praised the efforts of Ringel and the city’s department heads in putting the website together without having to pay $8,000 to $22,000 to have an outside firm create the website.

“Chris really did most of the work getting this up to date,” Yerges told the council. “He put in a lot of hard work and did it in a way that updated it and makes it fresh. It was a cost-effective way for us to get an effective website.”

The council affirmed the existing loan/grant agreement with the Plymouth Industrial Development Corp.

Yerges explained that the PIDC had received a $400,000 loan/grant from the city in 2005 in order to purchase more land for industrial development in the industrial park at the intersection of County PP and Willow Road.

“It was structured so it would be a grant but we hoped it could be paid back,” Yerges noted, as land in the industrial park was sold by the PIDC.

To date, the city has received more than $167,000 from the PIDC toward the original grant/loan, Yerges said.

“As part of reframing this as a grant, the PIDC will pay the city an additional $18,000,” Yerges said. “We want to make sure the PIDC remains a viable entity and continues to hold industrial land for the future development of the city.”

“This formalizes the agreement that has been going on for probably 25 years,” Mayor Donald Pohlman added. “The PIDC will continue to promote the sale of the land they own in our industrial park on behalf of the city and economic development.”


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