July 21, 2024

City installs stop sign at E. Webster/N. Kossuth St., talks mural

A new stop sign at E. Webster and N. Kossuth Streets, making the intersection a four-way stop.

The Osceola City Council approved 3-0 to install stop signs at the intersection of N. Kossuth St. and E. Webster St. at their June 4 meeting; council members Sonya Hicks and Jose Vargas were absent.

The request for a stop sign came to city staff from Mayor Thomas Kedley, who had had citizens request the addition of a stop sign for east and westbound traffic on Webster St., as there was only a stop sign for north and southbound traffic on Kossuth St. For drivers traveling on Webster St., there is a dip going l that can make it hard to see pedestrians crossing the road, especially in the morning and afternoon sun.

Concern was also raised for traffic traveling to and from the elementary school, which is located on S. Kossuth St., as walkers and drivers alike use Kossuth Street.

A proposal to leave the intersection as a four-way stop for the time being was suggested, to train both drivers and pedestrians for the stop, similar to what was done prior to the installation of the East Clay Street Park, where stop signs were added along E. Clay St. at the intersection of Osceola Street, allowing drivers to get used to slowing and stopping for additional park foot traffic.

When asked about the addition of a stop sign helping or hindering traffic, police chief Marty Duffus said that in his tenure there had been no accidents at that intersection, but with the proximity to the elementary, a stop sign might be a good idea.

“For now, maybe a four-way is better, get people used to it. Then we can revisit opening Kossuth up and doing it like Park [Street],” said councilman Dr. George Fotiadis before making the motion to approve the stop sign.

The council also approved 3-0 a resolution recognizing a stop sign on Truman Rd. at Wildflower Rd., which comes out of the new Vesta Village subdivision.

Both traffic control devices were resolved under resolution 2024-19, pursuant to chapter 61.01 of the City of Osceola Code of Ordinances. Osceola city administrator Ty Wheeler also stated that an amendment will be needed for “no parking” signs in Vesta Village, which will be added in Chapter 69.

The stop sign at E. Webster/N. Kossuth Streets was installed after the meeting.

Mural

City staff is exploring the option of commissioning a mural to be placed on the west-facing side of the city hall building, similar to what Osceola Chamber-Main Street (OCMS) had installed on 100 S. Fillmore St.

Wheeler explained that a mural would also double as a city building sign, as the prior one fell apart and hasn’t been replaced; the sign had said “Osceola City Hall.” Wheeler said replacement costs of the sign for non-light, channel lettering would be $6,696, or individual plastic letters would be $8,253.

After mentioning the mural idea at a previous council meeting and based on positive reactions to the OCMS mural, Wheeler reached out to Design Farm in Waverly, who had painted the OCMS mural, and was given a proposal for $10,000. He then applied for a sign and awning grant through OCMS which would cover half of the cost.

“I like that we’re trying to be a part of the process of telling the storied history of Osceola through the murals,” said Kedley, noting the mural would cost less than the cost of replacing just lettering.

Councilman Dan Hooper questioned how well the mural would hold up to facing in the western sun. Councilman Tom Bahls requested that if the mural was to commissioned and placed on the building to have downlighting added so it can be visible at night.

Bahls motioned to accept the proposal from Design Farm for a mural contingent on grant funding from OCMS. The motion passed 3-0.

Other council news

Council approved 3-0 referring a petition to vacate a portion of E. Webster St. right of way to planning and zoning, before vacating it to adjacent property owners

Council approved 3-0 accepting a job description for a police officer/IT administrator at the Clarke County Jail for the Osceola Police Department.

Duffus explained that it would be the first such job for a police station in the state, but that he has an officer who is well-versed in IT, and it would save them money by having someone in-house versus hiring out.

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.