Council approves interstate speed limit increase - Valdosta Daily Times: News

Council approves interstate speed limit increase

Loan fund application, police car sale also pass

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Posted: Friday, August 22, 2014 4:00 am

The speed limit on I-75 within the Valdosta city limits will be 70 miles per hour.

In addition, the city council approved the filing of an application of a Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund and approved the sale of three police cars to nearby organizations.

These resolutions were voted on during Thursday night's Valdosta City Council meeting at City Hall.

According to Pat Collins, city engineer for Valdosta, the speed limit was decreased back in October as a result of another resolution.

“In Oct. 10 of 2013, the city approved a speed limit ordinance,” Collins said. “It was transmitted to the DOT to amend our speed detections device permit. As part of that process at that time, we lowered the speed limit down to 65 miles per hour. That was a policy that had been adopted by the state traffic engineer, and authorized the local district engineer in Tifton to drop us based on it being an urban section of roadway.”

The speed limit was dropped without the benefit of a Speed Spot Study, a study that was done in July.

The motion passed unanimously.

The city council also approved a motion to apply a Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund for two properties on 206 and 208 North Patterson Street. The properties were once used as a theater, but now sit abandoned. The new owner of the property, Salvagetti Properties, intends to renovate the buildings and turn them into Birdie’s Market, a coffee, wine and cheese shop, as well as a culinary and home décor retail store.

In addition, the city council unanimously approved the nomination of Henderson and Godbee as independent auditors for the City of Valdosta.

“We feel that for the City of Valdosta, the best thing for us is to do a competitive bid,” said Mark Barber, Deputy City Manager of Administration.. “We sent out 26 (Requests for proposals), we had five returned, and we felt as part of doing our due diligence, since this is such an important position for the city, we interviewed all five.”

Henderson and Godbee was the finalist chosen by the Financial Committee of the city. The Financial committee consisted of Mayor John Gayle, Councilman Tim Carroll, City Manager Larry Hanson, Barber, and Financial Services Manager Chuck Dinkins.

The city council also approved a request from the Valdosta Police Department to render three aging police vehicles as surplus and sell them to the District Attorney's Office of the Southern Judicial Circuit, Valdosta City Schools, and the City of Morven.

“Two of these cars are unmarked, one of them is a marked vehicle,” said Brian Childress, chief of police for VPD. “In other words, two of them were detective vehicles, one was a marked car. These vehicles have high mileage. They have a lot of maintenance costs. They're 10 years or older, but we've done this in the past to help with other government entities who need vehicles and they're desperate for them.”

Childress explained that rendering the vehicles surplus was preferable to auctioning the vehicles off.

All motions were passed unanimously.

The City Council will meet next on Sept. 11 at 5:30 PM at City Hall, with a work session on Sept. 9.

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