By Sabrina Westfall
A Vincennes business owner went before the Vincennes City Council Monday night to express concerns about the stoplight at 6th and Busseron.
John Chuang, owner of the Dairy Queen at the intersection, said the change in traffic flow has disrupted his business because it has become difficult for drive-thru customers to exit onto 6th Street.
At the July 14 Vincennes Board of Works meeting, City Engineer John Sprague proposed the idea of making the intersection of 7th and Busseron a four-way stop, and the intersection of 6th and Busseron became a two-way stop with stop signs on Busseron.
The board approved the 90 day trial for the change. At the end of the trial, the issue is to be taken before the Vincennes City Council to determine if it will be a permanent change.
Chuang said initially, he believed it would be a positive change for his business because people would have to stop right beside his business. But, instead it has caused an increase in drive-thru times because cars are unable to turn left due to there not being a break in traffic without the light.
He noted next week the Dairy Queen will begin construction, so the majority of the business will be in the drive-thru.
Council member Scott Brown said he has also had complaints about the 6th and Busseron intersection change in the last few weeks as well.
Chuang said when he initially made the step to come before the council, he was not aware the light was in disrepair.
Mayor Joe Yochum noted the lights at the intersection are old and hard to get parts to fix it. City Engineer John Sprague said just to fix the lights, the city could be looking at $100,000. To replace the lights entirely could cost upwards of $200,000.
The mayor added he and Sprague have discussed moving the light from another part of town once the Second Street Project is complete to replace the current light.
City Attorney Dave Roellgan noted the best way to address the issue is to take the complaint to the Board of Works. If they determine the current change is not working, the issue will not have to be brought before the Vincennes City Council for consideration.
In other business, the council approved an additional appropriation from the Knox County City and Town Courts to the Vincennes Police Department non-reverting Law Enforcement Continuing Education Fund in the amount of $64,967.05.
The matter was tabled at the last meeting because VPD Chief Dusty Luking said he was awaiting information from the State Board of Accounts, but the question has been resolved. Luking explained the funds are paid to the local department every few years because the city brings in cases to the county courts.
The board also voted to:
- Approve an additional appropriation from the General Fund to the Board of Works and Public Works and Safety in the amount of $121,210.25 for street repairs.
- Approve an additional appropriation from EDIT in the amount of $33,432.85.
- Approve an additional appropriation from Promotion of the City Donations in the amount of $86,000.