ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany city commissioners held a lengthy debate Tuesday after realizing some wards are getting a much larger share of money for speed-reducing tables.
Ward Four, represented by Roger Marietta, has $78,372 of speed tables approved since the program's inception about two years ago.
During the same time frame, Wards One and Six received $0.
Marietta says getting speed tables for a street, "is a citizen based thing. You have to go through a lot of hoops to get through it. You have to do a letter first and then they (city pubic works employees) have to do the speed study," said Marietta.
After the speed study, citizens still have to get 80% of the people on their block to sign a petition okaying the speed tables.
Despite the uneven distribution of dollars, city leaders approved speed tables for Lynwood Lane, a street in Ward Four where speeding is a problem.
Ward One Commissioner Jon Howard said streets like Yorktown and Lexington in his district have had speed studies done, but fell just short of meeting all the requirements to get speed tables.
Howard wants the city to "go back out and do another speed study. I am confident if they go out and watch the speed on those roads they will meet the 35 mile per hour requirement," said Howard.
In prior speed studies, according to Howard, Yorktown and Lexington speeding averages were 34 miles per hour, one mile per hour shy of meeting the 35 mile per hour requirement to proceed with the speed table process.
Ward Six Commissioner Tommie Postell said moving forward he wants city employees to notify him when streets in his district don't meet requirements so he can try to help constituents through the process.
When the speed table program was initiated, commissioners intended for each Ward to get an equal share of the money.
Several commissioners acknowledged parts of the city have more of a speeding problem in residential areas, creating more demand for the speed tables.
Also, the threshold to get the speed tables is high, requiring heavy citizen involvement.
Marietta believes that the program "can be done in a way that satisfies everyone".
Marietta defended his ward's large allocation, pointing out Mayor Dorothy Hubbard gave her speed table money share last year to pay for the devices installation on Winterwood, a Ward Four street that has a speeding problem.
The funds to pay for Lynwood Lane Tuesday were given to Marietta from Commissioner B.J. Fletcher's share, who publicly acknowledged the speeding problem on that street, even though it isn't in her ward.
At one point during the meeting, Postell described the share difference as "discrimination", but Marietta and others commented they would similarly give money out of their allocation for speed tables in other wards when needed.
Ward Five Commissioner Bob Landstaff said, "The program is a viable one, keeping neighborhoods safe" and should be continued.
Since the program's beginning, Ward One has received $0, Ward Two $6,460 dollars, Ward Three $6,475, Ward Four $78,372, Ward Five $23,255 and Ward Six $0.
The Commission voted Tuesday to approve Lynwood Lane's speed tables, while making sure they are carefully allocating money for the program equally across all wards.