Resident brings issues to council

Donelle Pardee Whiting

In September 2007, Loyal Gifford   brought a complaint about excessive noise in his McGinley Street neighborhood to the Washington City Council.

Since then, he has been in touch with both Police Chief Jim Kuhenbecker and city administrator Bob Morris regarding continuing trouble with his neighbors.

Gifford’s primary issue at this time was communication between city officials and the community, he said.

Gifford said he brought complaints to the council previously.

“Sometimes the issue is straightened out two, three, maybe four days then it starts reoccurring,” Gifford said, adding that he does not know in the interim whether anything was done or what is going to happen if they do it again.

“I have no feedback,” he said. “Even when an officer goes over and visits and they talk to them, they never come back to see me. I don’t hear anything. I don’t know what to make of the situation.”

Last fall, Gifford complained to the council that he thought the noise ordinance was too lax.

He cited that noise from his neighbor’s house was a nuisance.

The issue has continued to be bothersome to Gifford.

In addition to his reports of loud music, Gifford said there is also the issue of trash and loud car noise.

Gifford added that several of his neighbors agree that there is a problem.

However, Kuchenbecker said, he went to the other homes on McGinley Street to see if they shared Gifford’s complaints and found only Gifford had a problem with his neighbors.

Morris agreed, saying if any of the other residents are unhappy with the situation, they should call and let him know.

Until more than one resident on a street claims there is a public nuisance issue, it is considered a private neighbor vs. neighbor issue.

“This is more like a feud,” Morris said.

Kuchenbecker said he would be willing to arrange a meeting with Gifford and his neighbors.

At first, Gifford said he was afraid. In September, he told the council he tried talking to his neighbors and was threatened.

However, they said they never threatened Gifford.

After several minutes of further discussion, Kuchenbecker again offered to mediate a get-together.

Gifford agreed as long as it was on neutral ground.

Kuchenbecker said he would like to see the issue resolved in a neighborly fashion.

In a separate complaint, Roy Allen wanted to know what was being done about making it illegal to do a U-turn on Washington Road at Sterling.

Allen said he was recently in an accident in which the other driver hit his car while doing a U-turn.

Kuchenbecker said it is out of the city’s jurisdiction to put a no U-turn sign at that intersection because Washington Road (Business 24) is a state route.

Morris said the Illinois Department of Transportation has said they will not put a no U-turn sign there, citing it is not warranted.

Morris added that he has not noticed a problem with the area.

Dave Dingledine, alderman Ward IV, said he pays close attention to that part of Washington Road every time he is there and has also not noticed a problem.

Kuchenbecker said he would talk with IDOT again and would also check into accident statistics for that particular part of the road.