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By KEVIN KOELLING
TELL CITY – A Perry County resident addressed the county commissioners at their Nov. 21 meeting to ask for traffic-safety measures near Waupaca.
Geoffrey Jennings told the commissioners five serious accidents occurred on the road leading into Waupaca the first six months of the year.
One of the victims was his grandson, he said, who had to be flown to a hospital.
“It’s not Waupaca itself, it’s the employees,” he said. “They either ‘Hollywood-stop’ that stop sign or they just completely run it (with) no regard for the general public.”
He wanted the commissioners to help him get the state to do something about that road and the intersection with Indiana 66, specifically asking that a left-turn lane or a traffic light be added.
“I would hate to see someone lose their life out there all because of an inconsiderate person,” Jennings said. He added that problems occur near the old Thriftway building along Indiana 66, now being used by Waupaca for storage.
“It’s the employees and the independent truckers,” he said.
Commissioner Bill Amos said he’d have to confer with the county attorney, but added that a caution light was added along Indiana 237; he would look into how that was done.
Commissioner Tom Hauser pointed out the entrance road is not maintained by the county.
“No, but Tell City goes out there and sweeps it with their street sweeper” under a contract, Jennings said.
“I’m not saying we can’t do anything,” Hauser said. “It just doesn’t give us as direct a line as it would if it was a county road. We can still help, though.”
Jennings suggested a traffic island could also help, but noted it would be costly. A yellow caution light for drivers traveling Indiana 66 and a flashing red one for those emerging from Waupaca might be more practical, he said.
“I think it will take a major effort to get something like this done,” Commissioner Jody Fortwendel said. “It is a very dangerous intersection. I think you’re going to have to get the state representative … Waupaca (and) the Perry County Development Corp. involved. I think this has been looked into before, several years ago, and for some reason it just fell on deaf ears. Maybe it needs to be re-energized.”
Hauser said the county has a new contact person in the Indiana Department of Transportation, and he’d give Jennings his name and phone number.
Jennings said he would call Sen. Richard Young.
“Maybe we can get the ball rolling on this thing,” he said. “Something has to be done.”
“My grandson had a pretty good chance of dying,” he added.
Amos gave him the name and number of the person who worked on getting the 237 light installed.