Peabody council weighs request to block off downtown
A request by Peabody’s Come Home for Christmas committee to block off Peabody’s downtown all day for the Dec. 7 event concerned city councilmen.
“We need to gather more information from them as to what exactly they have going on that requires the downtown district blocked off for a whole day,” councilman Jay Gfeller said.
Downtown would be blocked off from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., according to the committee’s request.
It was proposed to keep children safe when crossing from one place to the next, but no vendors would be taking up sidewalk space, police chief Bruce Burk said.
Closing the street for so long would inconvenience residents running errands downtown, as well as shoppers coming into Peabody, community member Linda Martinez said.
“The Legion is full of vendors that day,” she said. “For the people who come to town, where are they going to park?”
Councilman Lindsay Hutchison said she would support the request if it were only the latter portion of the day.
“I would be comfortable if it was just the after dark hours it was blocked off,” she said.
City water rates will increase, but not outside of the two-cent raise set by the state. Not raising the rate more than necessary is important because it could increase later to help with future water line updates, Travis Wilson said.
“With everything we’re looking at doing later, let’s try to keep it at the bare minimum,” he said.
Since the public works department is operating with only two employees, the city has to be careful about them being called out on fire department calls.
“We absolutely want as many people as we can get at a structure fire or multiple-vehicle rollovers,” Hutchison said. “We want all the responders we can get, but we also have to use discretion.”
While not sending employees on calls is difficult, they have to be released sooner when they do respond, councilman Rick Reynolds said.
“If the city guys go, they need to be on the first crew out,” he said.
Peabody residents and officials need to cooperate to improve the city, especially with only two public works employees, resident Kim Nellans said.
“We need to all work together and quit saying we can’t do this or can’t do that,” she said. “It’s to take the town and town workers. It’s going to take everybody to get this town back.”
A was a pot-bellied pig that got loose recently caused a stir as it is an animal not allowed under city ordinance, Nellans said.
Plans are being made with the pet owner to find the pig a new home outside the city, but police aren’t able to take care of pig because the animal control person is injured, Burk said.
“We don’t have any equipment for that type of situation,” he said. “As soon as the animal control person gets back on her feet, that process will continue.”
Last modified Oct. 30, 2019