Vienna passes first reading to create official bus stops

VIENNA – City council unanimously approved on first reading Thursday an ordinance to adopt bus stop loading and unloading areas.

The ordinance outlines procedures and penalties for violation of the proposed bus stop loading and unloading areas in Vienna, said Mayor Randy Rapp.

The ordinance permits the city to create areas which will be designated bus stops within the city limits, Rapp said.

Tim Thomas, Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority general manager, spoke to city council about the ordinance during the meeting.

The ordinance is part of a larger plan to reduce congestion caused by buses stopping from Murdoch Avenue to 47th Street, Thomas said.

Thomas hopes this plan will help reduce the congestion around the mall and on Grand Central Avenue by giving the buses somewhere to stop other than in traffic lanes to pick up or unload passengers.

Once the bus stops are built, they will be designated areas where buses may pull free of traffic to unload or load passengers, Rapp said.

Parking within these areas by non-buses will be prohibited, except for vehicles that are dropping people off at the bus stop, Rapp said. Even vehicles dropping people off will be subject to regulations as outlined by signs at the bus stop area, he said.

The second and final reading of the bus stop ordinance will be made at the next city council meeting on March 27, Rapp said.

In other business, the Vienna City Council voted unanimously to approve the 2014-2015 fiscal year budget for the city.

The approved balanced budget for the coming year is $12,652 higher than the previous year’s budget.

Rapp explained that approximately $32,000 of the difference between last year’s budget and the coming year’s budget is going toward the cost of medical insurance for the city employees.

Council members Cathy Smith, Jim Miracle and Paul Thornton commented during the city council meeting, thanking Steve Black, city finance director, and those who worked with him for their hard work in balancing the budget for the city.

The budget includes the salary of $52,000 for a potential development director for the city, Rapp said.

The development director will be in charge of the HUD program, of developing grants and working with the government, and other similar duties, Rapp said.

The development director will serve as an additional liaison between the city of Vienna and several of the economic groups of which Vienna is a member, Rapp said. Rapp said he will continue to attend the meetings.

The developmental director position has not yet been advertised, and is not obligated to be filled simply because it is budgeted, said Black.

Approximately 100 people attended the town hall meeting held in Vienna at the Jackson Community Building Wednesday, Rapp said.

Among the topics discussed were the senior center complex, as well as plans for a new Vienna community building, Rapp said.

Sign-ups for Vienna spring youth sports are available for the next three Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Jackson Community Building, Rapp said. Vienna is offering baseball, softball, soccer and tee-ball this spring, he said.