Arcanum Safety Committee discusses curfew, golf carts

ARCANUM — The Arcanum Safety Committee met Wednesday evening to primarily discuss a new curfew ordinance, golf cart ordinance and a new stop light.

Arcanum Police Chief Marcus Ballinger proposed an ordinance for a new curfew of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. for minors 16 and under, and a curfew of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for minors ages 16 to 18. The current curfew for juveniles 16 and under in the Village of Arcanum is 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and has been since 1993.

Chief Ballinger cited crimes recently committed by minors in the village after curfew, such as graffiti and underage drinking, and said the proposed curfew will limit underage crime by requiring minors to be home earlier.

“The villages I’ve worked with in the past, this is very beneficial to limit juveniles being out past 9 p.m.,” Chief Ballinger said. “There’s no reason for juveniles to be out past 9 p.m. There’s nothing for juveniles past 16 and under to be doing past 9 p.m. They need to be home.”

There were concerns raised about how early the proposed curfew is and any conflicts that would occur with festivals, park hours or any recreational activities a minor could be involved in.

“The only problem I would see with 9 p.m. is that, what if we have another festival in town and it runs until midnight?” Village Administrator Bill Kessler asked.

After more discussion, the committee agreed on the suggested times for the new curfew and Chief Ballinger agreed to reword the ordinance to allow for minors to be out past curfew if involved in school activities, community activities or recreational activities.

Next, the committee discussed a new golf cart ordinance that would include side-by-side vehicles. The ordinance focuses mainly on operations.

Village Safety Committee Chair Rick Genovesi said his biggest worry with the including the side-by-sides is having one person operating their cart off-road in the village parks, or on other citizens’ property.

“All it takes is one person to do something stupid and that ruins it for everybody,” he said.

In addition, the committee discussed rules regarding road usage. The proposed ordinance states that just like golf carts, you won’t be able to drive side-by-sides outside of Arcanum village limits on state or county roads.

After some discussion, Chief Ballinger agreed to change some language in the ordinance to touch on some of the committee members concerns regarding nuisance and trespassing.

Lastly, the committee discussed a new stop light they want to install on both sides of Trojan Avenue near the school building. The project includes crosswalks and a flashing yellow caution light that the committee plans to have operating during school hours only. After the project was deemed warranted by the state in May, the safety committee submitted the project plans to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and are now waiting for final state approval to start the project.

The committee wants to start the project as soon as possible so the stop light is ready for the 2021-22 school year for safety reasons.

“There have been three accidents in the intersection in the past, one of them was pretty serious,” Kessler said. “It’s nice to have a traffic guard there but that comes at a cost, so we can’t always get a traffic guard.”

The safety committee will meet next on Wednesday, July 21 at 5 p.m., and said they hope to have an update from ODOT regarding the stop light project at their next meeting.

Arcanum Village Council meets the second and last Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.

By Abigail Miller

DarkeCountyMedia.com

Reach Abigail by email at [email protected]