Bellaire solving safety issues

BELLAIRE – At the Village Council meeting on Thursday night, Police Chief Mike Kovalyk addressed many issues relating to safety for the citizens of the village.

The string of robberies that plagued the Village of Bellaire recently have ceased since the arrest of Myron Ennis Johnson, of Cleveland. Kovalyk stated that the incidents are still under investigation and that the department is still receiving information from citizens.

“That arrest came because of the information from the good people of Bellaire, and we really appreciate that and would like that to continue. It comes down to the people of this town and the character that they have. The individuals who cause problems here are not normally people from Bellaire,” Kovalyk stated.

Kovalyk also recommended that the Safety Committee meet and address the issue of installing guardrails along Hamilton Street in the spring, specifically on the 2900 block and also the 3100 block to 32nd Street, where a few cars have gone over the embankment in the last few years.

Kovalyk stated that there was recently a wreck on the 2900 block of Hamilton in which a younger female driver flipped her vehicle over onto its top.

“The young lady was fortunate. She hit a couple of poles, and she did go over on her top. But if she hadn’t hit those poles, she would have ended up down over the embankment,” he said.

Village Administrator Dan Marling stated that the village has already used a majority of the guardrail that it has available.

“I agree with the chief. The area in which we had the accident is very doable, but I don’t believe we have the resources, the funds (for the rest of the project),” he said.

Marling stated that this was not something already on the strategic plan for 2014, but when funds become available, they will get more guardrail to complete the project, which will make Hamilton Street safer when the road conditions are less than favorable.

Following up on poor road conditions, Marling also addressed the salt issue that is present not only in Bellaire but across many states on the East Coast.

“We are very, very critically low on salt,” Marling said. “We have not been able to provide the service that we would like to.”

Marling went on to say that the village does have more salt coming, but like every other municipality in the area, the supply is running low.

The village has enough salt to get through one more big storm, but there exists a possibility that they will run out. In the meantime, the village will do its best to maintain its roads, particularly the hills and intersections.

“I would advise the folks in the town to follow the county’s levels of emergency. If it’s a Level 1, the roads are icy. If it’s Level 2, you should check with your employer and stay off the roads if possible,” Marling said.

Kovalyk also addressed the matter by urging people to use caution while driving in these conditions. “Slow down a little bit. Give yourself some more time to come to a stop at intersections. Give yourself a couple more car-lengths ahead of you when there’s a car in front of you so that you can stop safely.”

Council also gave thanks to all the road crews who have worked tirelessly in the last few weeks to keep the roads as clear as possible, and also to the water crews who worked to repair the 17 water breaks that Bellaire endured in January.