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City to address Riverfork backup

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BERM:The board plans to install no parking signs to prevent trucks from destroying the road by parking on the berm, pictured here.
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LINE: Truckers wait in a line on Riverfork Drive Tuesday at the industrial park, as two trucks are forced to cross the centerline and drive the wrong way to get around them.

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

The City of Huntington is planning to install no parking signs at Riverfork Industrial park to curb deteriorating road conditions caused by trucks parking on the shoulder.

Huntington Police Chief Chad Hacker addressed the Board of Public Works and Safety Monday after he observed six trucks, trying to get onto Huntington Aluminum’s property, parked on both sides of Riverfork Drive East. 

“You cannot hardly get through out there,” Hacker said.

After talking to Huntington Aluminum President Roger Kilty, Hacker said Kilty told the truck drivers to move, but they reportedly refused until Hacker directed them to. Hacker reported that Kilty also told some of the drivers that they weren’t cleared to enter the property, but those drivers disregarded his orders.

Hacker said the problem is similar to issues they had near Metalloid, where contracted trucks were driving through people’s yards since they were from out of town and unlikely to return to Huntington again.

“They didn’t care,” Hacker said about the Metalloid problem. “They were there to get loaded, get out of there and we were left to deal with it the next day.”

Hacker reported that Kilty is looking into freeing up space in a lot Kilty owns across the street, which is currently filled with trucks carrying material in them. Hacker also reported that Kilty is looking into purchasing a lot in the area to create a staging area, something Hacker said the company needs to work on, since other business owners are expected to have staging as well.

Board member and Common Council President Charles Chapman agreed and said he’s heard complaints from people in the area upset with the situation for some time now.

“From a City standpoint, it appears as if that road is just getting tore up because the berms are not designed to hold that weight,” Chapman said. “I agree that he needs to come up with a solution on his property to manage that… It’s unfair to the surrounding business owners too because they have trucks coming in as well.”

The board decided to have Hacker present a plan to install signs on both sides of the roadway at their next board meeting scheduled Feb. 18 at 3:30 p.m. The board also approved an enforcement date of April 1, 2019 to give business owners a 45-day notice of the proposed change.

In other business, the board approved the purchase of four 2019 Dodge Chargers for the Huntington Police Department, after the accepted the lowest bid from Hiday Motors in Bluffton, which totaled $24,980 each.

Each year, the city budgets enough money to purchase four vehicles, since they began a take-home car program around 4 years ago. They plan to trade-in four of the currently-owned vehicles, and the program calls for vehicles to be traded-in or sold every eight years, so that the city can retain value in the vehicles.

“So we are hoping by the end of eight years they are around that 110,000 mile mark, since they still have value when we go to make the trade-ins,” Hacker said. “Where in the past we’ve driven them until they almost need to be towed, and there was no value there.”

The board also approved street closures and plans for Heritage Days.