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Keokuk Delays Traffic Signal Removal

Keokuk, IA – A plan to remove more downtown traffic signals appears to be on hold in Keokuk.

The Keokuk City Council agreed, during its September 3 meeting, to remove the traffic signals at the intersections of 8th & Main and 9th & Main. The next step in the process was to add stop signs North 8th, North 9th, South 8th, and South 9th.

That did not happen, though, as the Keokuk City Council has voted to tabled the ordinances required to add the stop signs. The move allows the panel to bring the ordinances back up for debate at a later date.

At-Large Alderman Doug Matlick says the council made the right move in tabling the stop sign ordinances. He says if the measures were voted down, the issue would be over and Keokuk would have made no decision on the antiquated traffic signals.

Matlick says, at some point, Keokuk will have to replace, or remove, every downtown traffic signal. He says the cost is about $250,000/intersection.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has told the city that only a handful of signals qualify for state replacement funding. The list does not include the intersections at 8th & Main and 9th & Main.

Several residents spoke against the proposal during the September 17 city council meeting.

Meanwhile, the Keokuk City Council has decided against replacing some aging equipment.

Parks, Cemetery, and Bridge Department Director Gary Stepp had requested six new tractor-style lawn-mowers. The cost to the city, with trade-ins, would have been about $90,000.

The Keokuk City Council voted down the proposal. Several council members expressed concerns about purchasing so many new mowers with winter on the way.

At-Large Alderman Doug Matlick says the city must considering hiring an outside person or company to mow its smaller parks. He says that could actually save the city money, when compared to buying new lawn-mowers and hiring temporary help.

Stepp says he is constantly rotating lawnmowers because of required repairs and maintenance.

In Other Action
The Keokuk City Council
- tabled a measure to vacate a piece of land near the Horner YMCA.
- agreed to add stop signs at Belknap Boulevard and Johnson Street Road.
- increased the salaries of its members from $100/month to $200/month.
- hired Cedar Rapids-based Howard R. Green Company to conduct a GIS/GPS Survey
- hired Keokuk Contractors to patch portions of Carbide Lane ($58,893).
- hired Keokuk-based Brite Line for crosswalk sidewalk striping ($1,365.49).