By BRIAN BOHNERT
FOR THE COURIER
FOSTORIA — Drivers will see a change at the intersection of North Wood and West North streets within the next few days.
Fostoria City Council on Tuesday authorized making the crossroads a four-way stop.
Fostoria Street Department crews will remove the inactive traffic lights at the intersection and replace them with stop signs in all directions within the next week, said city Engineer Dan Thornton.
Thornton said his office has been studying some of the city’s intersections over the past few years to determine which ones have unwarranted traffic lights.
Part of the study, Thornton said, involves monitoring traffic flow on each road at an intersection. With this intersection in particular, traffic flow seemed relatively the same in all directions.
In addition to North Wood and West North streets, he also considered the intersections of Union and North streets, and Main and North streets.
“If the lights aren’t warranted, they’re not supposed to be up,” he said.
Temporary stop signs warning the public that the North Wood-West North intersection has been “under study” were placed at the intersection several weeks ago.
While he is unsure exactly how much money the change will save the city, Thornton said the maintenance of outdated electrical equipment will save a lot of headaches.
“There’s a problem with the controllers on the lights,” he said. “The controllers are old, the lights are old, and the traffic numbers don’t warrant having lights at that intersection.”
Replacing one of the controllers alone can cost thousands of dollars, he said.
Separately, council gave a second reading to an ordinance regarding the height of fences around residential swimming pools in the city. If passed, the law will require anyone installing a new swimming pool on their property to erect a fence around the pool at least 6 feet high.
The ordinance would repeal a 2012 decision that set the fence requirement at 4 feet for all straight-line borders and 5 feet for chain-link fences.
Zoning Inspector Sandy Coleman said anyone who currently owns a residential swimming pool is grandfathered in and will not have to build a taller fence so long as a border is already in place.
However, anyone who replaces an old pool with a new one will be required to comply with the new fence regulations, she said.
Separately, council unanimously approved an ordinance granting a pay raise to both council Clerk Dave Clark and the assistant clerk of council. The legislation approves a $1,200-per-year raise for Clark and a $600-a-year jump for the assistant.
Clark, who earns $6,000 per year, would earn a total of $7,200 annually for each year of his four-year term.
At the request of Fostoria Law and Ordinance Committee members Thomas Lake and Jonathan Hay, council gave a second reading to an ordinance regarding the responsibilities of homeowners to keep their sidewalks clean during winter months.
If passed, the time limit for Fostorians to clear snow, ice and other weather-related debris from their sidewalks will change from 12 to 24 hours, allowing homeowners more time to avoid penalties.