Town of Dunkirk speed limits approved

The Dunkirk Town Board recently received word its request for speed limits was approved by the New York State Department of Transportation.

According to Supervisor Richard Purol, the town received a letter from the county unofficially notifying the board the DOT did traffic studies and granted the town’s request for speed limits.

Purol explained the matter came up when a resident asked for a reduction of speed on Greenhurst Avenue. After that the town board discovered several town roads did not have posted speed limits.

The speed limits were approved as follows: Greenhurst Avenue between Roberts Road and Franklin Avenue was reduced to 30 mph, Cedarcliff, Crestwood, Wildwood and Beachcliff avenues were posted at 30 mph, Wilbur Road between Route 5 and the Pomfret town line was posted at 30 mph, Chestnut Road between Willow Road and the Pomfret town line was posted at 40 mph, Temple Road between Willow Road and the Pomfret town line was posted at 40 mph and Willow Road between Route 5 and the Dunkirk city line was posted at 40 mph.

Purol said there was an instance where a trooper wrote a ticket for speeding on Temple Road and the courts could not enforce it because there was no posted speed limit. However, tickets, he said, were not the reason the town addressed this.

He said he did not know why speed limits were not posted before, but after receiving the official letter from the DOT, the town will post the speed limits.

Councilman Henry Walldorff asked about speed limits on Wilbur Road between Route 5 and Shorewood Drive and Morewood Drive. Purol said he will look into those roads.

The town board also reviewed the changes that were made to the employee handbook. Clerk Jean Crane said she added the code of ethics, a state retirement opt-out form and a sheet to sign saying the employees understood the changes.

Councilman Mark Kutner asked about employee evaluations, which are now done “only if it is warranted.” He asked what warrants an evaluation. Purol said a problem like an accident in the highway department would, but an overall evaluation has not taken place since 2007.

Kutner said he thought it should be done more regularly to establish a baseline performance for employees. Councilman Robert Penharlow agreed.

“It’s also a good idea if an employee wants to be recognized for doing something above and beyond, if we only do it if there is a problem, we will not recognize something like that,” he said.

The board decided not to change the language in the handbook and instead to ask department heads to evaluate employees regularly at their discretion.

Purol also reported on the renovation plans at the town hall. He said he had Add Lumber come down and look at the door to the clerk’s office and the double doors to the storage area at the back. He said the only other change they are considering is a convex mirror for more visibility of the entrance for the court.

The town board will meet April 16. They also spoke of scheduling a neighborhood watch meeting in May.