Leesburg Council Continues Speed Enforcement Discussion

Photo: Nick Deranek/News Now Warsaw

An update was given on enforcing speed limits in town during the Leesburg Town Council meeting Monday.

The update came after speeding was discussed during March’s council meeting.

During March’s meeting, street commissioner Craig Charlton said he’s talked to the town’s traffic sign supplier.

Monday, Charlton said there was a 25 miles per hour speed limit sign on School Street, as well as a warning sign of children at play.

An update on law enforcement in town looking out for speeders was also given.

In March, Charlton said he did inquire about placement of a deputy in town and the response he got was the town would have to pay for someone to be in town and they would “do a community service.”

There were people who raised concerns about people speeding in town in March’s meeting.

Monday, council member Doug Jones said after March’s meeting, he was contacted by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office and had “a nice meeting with Sheriff Dukes and three of his top officers, and we discussed at great length our situation here in town. He was very receptive and understands we have a situation and he offered to help in any way he could.”

Jones said Dukes offered a variety of options for law enforcement and the town has implemented some of those options.

Jones asked Dukes about Operation Pull Over.

Operation Pull Over is a state-funded initiative.

Jones said officers are paid overtime to come in to a  “community like ours, or anywhere, really, and any officer from any community can work anywhere there’s a problem.”

Jones said Dukes said the sheriff’s department is understaffed.

Jones said Leesburg did have some law enforcement officers in town and they did write some citations, believing between 20 and 30 citations were written in the last month.

Two traffic stops turned into drug busts. Jones said one of those traffic stops led to a high-speed chase.

Jones said the town is moving forward and looking at other options to have more of a police presence in Leesburg. Jones said he was pleased Dukes was willing to work with the council, noting Dukes was very adamant he was willing to do whatever he could to help the town within his staffing requirements.

Jones said he could see a difference speeding vehicles when police are in town.

Council member Christina Archer said she was pleased to see a police presence in town and said she heard several residents feel the same. Archer said she hopes it gets to the point where people slow down because they anticipate law enforcement to be in the area.

In other business, the council approved a request for a Memorial Day parade.

The parade will be at 10:30 a.m. May 31, starting at Town Hall.

Charlton said it is a memorial service for those who have served the country.

The Boy Scouts will be raising the flag at Town Hall.

There will be several people speaking and performing, followed by a service at the cemetery which includes is the reading of the roster of the names of those “who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

In other business, the council:

• Approved a bid for  Bruner & Son Construction for $47 per running foot for the Van Buren Street curb project. The bid will be 364 feet of curb from Jefferson Street east to center alley and 775 feet of curb from Pearl Street to Harrison Street.

• Approved to keep the sewer fees for churches, restaurants and bars at current rates. It is at a reduced rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moore had previously said the sewer rate varies. Jones said there’s a formula that is followed that is dictated by the state. Moore said it’s per seat capacity of the structure.

• Approved a townwide garage sale on June 11 and 12.

• Approved a town cleanup on June 25 and 26.

Council members include Jones, Charlton and Tom Moore. Mike Searfoss is clerk-treasurer.