By Diana Bowley of the News Staff - DEXTER - Municipal officials exercised a right on Thursday that few have when they voted to reduce the speed limit on the Upper Garland Road from 45 to 35 mph. Dexter is one of a few communities in the state that have the authority to regulate the speed on town ways without state Department of Transportation approval.
Upper Garland Road residents requested the reduced speed. They said the high speeds used by motorists have resulted in a number of motor vehicle accidents.
After a public hearing on the matter Thursday, the council voted to reduce the speed limit for the Upper Garland Road extending from the intersection of Main Street Hill east to the Garland town line. The Upper Garland Road is seeing increased use by motorists, and that use may be driven by the fact that local police have other highly traveled roads under surveillance, according to Dexter Police Chief Art Roy. Motorists may be using the road to avoid contact with police, Roy said Thursday.
Resident Earl Mitchell was pleased with the board's action. "Instead of driving 65 to 70 miles per hour, maybe it will slow them down to at least 40 to 45 miles per hour," he told the council.
In other business, the council was informed that the local union bargaining unit representing a majority of town employees had ratified a contract.
The council now must review the contract at a workshop, Dexter Town Manager Robert Simpson said. The council is expected to ratify the contract next month.
Simpson reported that James Costedio, the golf course operator, has taken a job elsewhere but has agreed to fulfill his contract with the town for the operation of the municipal golf course.
The council also learned of a reported turf war between two local doctors who operate off Summer Street. The matter will be addressed at next month's meeting.
Simpson said an official from Drs. Usha and Challa Reddy's practice had complained that patients using the laboratory at Dexter Internal Medicine next door repeatedly block the back entrance to the Reddys' facility.
The town owns the latter building and leases it to Dexter Internal Medicine, so Simpson said the council should act on the issue.
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