PERRY -- Some large trucks could soon be prohibited from driving through Perry’s downtown.
On Tuesday, Perry City Council members held the first reading of a proposal that would ban trucks traveling through the city from using portions of three major streets. The trucks targeted would be heavy trucks such as log trucks, semis and tankers. Trucks involved in business in the downtown would still be able to move through.
Mayor Jimmy Faircloth told The Telegraph that the push is to improve safety. City Council work sessions for months have had discussions about large trucks that can’t make difficult turns around downtown, with some discussion of the trucks tearing up the roads.
“If we can keep the trucks out of downtown, it will be better for everybody,” Faircloth said.
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The council is considering prohibiting trucks from Houston Lake Drive, which ties Main Street to Houston Lake Road; a section of Jernigan Street; and a section of Main Street. Trucks would be encouraged to bypass downtown roads including portions of Perry Parkway, Main Street, Houston Lake Road, Ball Street, Golden Isles Parkway, Sam Nunn Boulevard, Interstate 75 and U.S. 41.
The measure could be adopted at the council’s next meeting in January. Faircloth said the city is talking to one company that has log trucks making regular runs and will communicate with other companies that regularly bring in trucks.
“We have an industrial area in our downtown, so we’re trying to find a happy medium,” he said.
Also Tuesday, council members adopted with little discussion an amendment to the city’s new blight ordinance, which creates an appeals process that would be overseen by a hearing officer rather than the mayor and City Council members.
Council members also recognized some of the 21 new firefighters who have more than doubled the city’s fire department. The firefighters took up nearly half the seats in the City Council chambers. Some veterans of other departments already are working as firefighters. Others have been trained as first responders and will start fire school next month.
In another matter, City Council members were divided on whether city offices should be closed Friday, Dec. 26, as many other local governments are. Faircloth decided to put the blame on himself.
“The mayor’s the Grinch,” he said, taking the blame for leaving the offices open. Perry offices will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.