Section: News

Village Council renews mask ordinance, addresses parking

The Gambier Village Council met on Oct. 4 to revisit the emergency mask ordinance, introduce the new Village marshal, discuss updates to the Mount Vernon Fire Department (MVFD) and vote on adding new speed bumps.

The Council passed an emergency mask ordinance on Aug. 16 mandating masks in public Village buildings that expired on Oct. 4. The Council then unanimously voted to extend the mask ordinance until Nov. 1, when the members will once again vote to either extend the ordinance, pass a new one or allow it to expire. 

Jesse Braswell, the new Village marshal who is primarily responsible for parking enforcement and traffic safety in Gambier, also introduced himself at the meeting. Braswell noted that his biggest concern at the moment is overnight parking and that he’s already given out 169 tickets since the start of his position, primarily on the east side of Gaskin Avenue and between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. 

“​​It’s mostly students from the South lots at this point. But they are moving on, and then I’m finding them in other places and ticketing them there,” he said. 

In addition, Doug McLarnan from MVFD announced that, following a partnership with Knox Community Hospital and MedFlight, the Village fire station is now staffed with a mobile Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ambulance, a chase car and a staff of two nurses and one medic. He also mentioned that the Village signed a $49,000 contract for renovating the firehouse, which will go towards building three new bunk rooms and a hallway.

According to McLarnan, the average response time to a call in September was nine minutes and 32 seconds. Now that the MedFlight crew is stationed at the firehouse, he hopes the  response time will decrease to its previous time of three minutes. 

McLarnan said that so far, the transition of the College Township Fire Department merging into MVFD has been a smooth one. “I’m really grateful for all the help that the Village has given us over the last year. That was a lot of tough times, but we’re into this transition … and all in all, we’re going to have an excellent service here.”

Lastly, the Council also passed a proposal to add two speed bumps along the north part of Acland Street, costing $8,350, at the request of two residents who live there. One council member noted that while traffic on the road has increased lately, with as many as 40 cars passing through the road in one afternoon, most drivers seem to abide by the 25 mph speed limit. “It may be something for us to look at what we’ve done to traffic in the Village by turning Gaskin [Avenue] into one-way, because I think there were not nearly that many cars before,” they said. “I was surprised at how many cars were going through, but they weren’t actually speeding.” 

The Gambier Village Council will hold its next meeting on Monday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.

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