By Michael Howell
The Hamilton City Council has approved on first reading an ordinance changing the hours that city parks will be open to the public. All city parks are currently open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thirty days following a second reading approval that would change. Under the new ordinance the parks would be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from October 1 through March 3, and from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. from April 1 through September 30. There was some consideration given to making the parks open from sunrise to sunset but Chief of Police Ryan Oster said that having set hours was much preferred as far as enforcement goes so that his officers could have some regular schedule for patrolling.
The Council also approved an amendment to the expenditure budget, increasing it from $185,000 to $340,000 to account for various changes in the water line improvement project. According to City Planner and Special Projects Coordinator Dennis Stranger, the original allocation assumed that the water line work would begin on Grove Street and go north. The engineers, however, recommended starting further south, about halfway between Grove Street and Montana Avenue to allow for easier connection to existing water lines in the area. The initial plan also assumed that city blocks are of uniform length when they are not.
Plans also changed concerning the proposed connection of Well #5 to the high school wells. The project was delayed due to concerns about possible surface water infiltration requiring more testing. The testing will delay the project for a year. Stranger said that the Water Fund was in good shape and could absorb the increased expense.
Councilor Jenny West was elected to serve as Council President. Councilor Al Mitchell was elected to head the Planning Board and Councilor Joe Petrusaitis was elected to head the Zoning Commission.