SCOTTVILLE — A pending speed limit change proposed for a portion of Main Street in the City of Scottville will not go into effect until it goes through the proper channels, according to Police Chief Matt Murphy.
During Monday’s meeting of the Scottville City Commission, Murphy, who is currently serving as acting city manager, proposed reducing the speed limit from 30 to 25 mph on Main Street between Fifth Street and Johnson Road.
A motion in support of the change was made, supported and unanimously approved by the commission. However, some members of the public expressed concerns that the speed limit reduction was being implemented incorrectly — without going through the process of drafting an ordinance amendment, and holding first and second public readings separated by a 30-day period of public advertisement.
Murphy told the Daily News on Wednesday that Monday’s action was simply “floating the idea” of changing the speed limit to members of the commission, and that the proper channels would be followed before any changes are enacted.
“It is going back through and we’re having (City Attorney) Carlos (Alvarado) go through and create a proper notice,” Murphy said. “That’s why there was no start date (for the change).”
The city commission last considered changing the speed limit on Main Street in fall 2015, following a traffic study conducted by the Michigan State Police at the request of the city.
As the Daily News reported at the time, the 2015 study actually recommended that the city increase the speed limit on portions of South Main Street/Scottville Road — specifically to 45 mph from the south side of Pere Marquette River Bridge to Fifth Street — with the current 30 mph recommended from Fifth to First streets.
The city commission opted not to take the recommendation, with officials citing safety concerns, opting to keep speeds as they were. The issue of reducing speeds was discussed, but ultimately not acted on.
The MSP was not asked to conduct a study in relation to the latest proposed change. Rather, Murphy said the Scottville Department of Public Works (DPW) conducted the research that led to the proposed decrease.
“The City of Scottville did a traffic study as part of completing its MDOT forms,” Murphy stated. “The study was conducted by the DPW.”
The forms had to do with the extension of the city’s contract with MDOT, which allows for the city to be reimbursed for conducting maintenance on the state road while in the city limits.
The issue of reducing speeds to 25 mph from Fifth Street to Johnson Road will come back to the city commission no sooner than its next meeting, on Feb. 15. If an ordinance amendment is drafted by that time, a first reading can be held, after which the amendment would need to be advertised for 30 days prior to a second reading and formal approval.
If approved, the soonest Scottville residents could see a change would be late April or early May.