(MITCHELL) - The Mitchell City Council passed an ordinance Monday night making it a violation for semi-truck drivers to use their Jake brakes within the city limits.
A Jake brake is a compression release engine brake, frequently called a Jake brake or Jacobs brake, is an engine braking mechanism installed on some diesel engines. When activated, it opens exhaust valves in the cylinders after the compression cycle, releasing the compressed air trapped in the cylinders, and slowing the vehicle.
However the use of compression release engine brakes cause a vehicle to make a loud chattering or "machine gun" exhaust noise, especially vehicles having high flow mufflers, or no mufflers at all, causing many communities in the United States to prohibit compression braking within municipal limits.
The drafting of the ordinance came after residents on Hamilton Boulevard complained about the trucks entering and exiting Lehigh Cement using their Jake brakes and the noise those brakes make when they are applied.
City officials say there is no reason for Jake breaks to be used anywhere within city limits.
Mitchell resident Ron Pridemore asked the council to table the ordinance until they could talk to a representative from the trucking company to see why the drivers were using the Jake brakes.
He said it was unfair to pass an ordinance without first talking to the drivers. He also added the city had spent millions of dollars to build Hamilton Boulevard to keep the trucks off the main streets of Mitchell and now the council was complaining and that was not fair.
Drivers caught using their Jake brakes will be fined $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $200 for a third offense.
In other business:
The council reviewed a traffic count on Hamilton Boulevard by Strand & Associates. The report stated a traffic light was not needed at the intersection of Hamilton Boulevard and Ind. 37. Mayor Gary Pruett says he will request INDOT to perform their own traffic count and ask them to make recommendations to the council.
The council will have Mark Rape from Strand & Associates develop a plan to prevent rain water from running off Hamilton Boulevard into Walker Addition. Rain water is currently causing flooding problems in the addition. Rape and Mayor Pruett visited the property and looked at some possible solutions which may include adding a culvert under Rabbitsville Road to drain the water to the east, or digging a retention ditch to keep the water from entering the addition.
The council added President's Day to the holiday schedule for city workers.
Perry Reynolds, who lives on West Warren Street in Mitchell, asked the council's permission to develop a neighborhood watch. Reynolds has been a victim of crime and so have several of his neighbors. He says it's the responsibility of the citizens to look out and stand up for each other. He wants residents who see a crime or someone suspicious in the area to report the activity to police. He's hoping if Mitchell can develop neighborhood watches, other communities will follow suit. Reynolds volunteered to lead the project and city attorney Byron Steele says he also will look into the establishing of neighborhood watches.
Councilwoman Vicky Schlegel says she has received several complaints from residents that the police department is not generating theft and traffic accident reports in a timely fashion. She told the council one resident had her prescription medications, which were received through the mail, stolen and needed a police report to get them replace. The person had to wait several days before they could get a report, thus going without needed medications.
The council approved the Kiwanis to hold road blocks on May 26th and August 4th and for the Hillbilly 500 to hold road blocks on March 31st and June 2nd. They also approved the Hillbilly 500 Race. The race will be held on August 4th. From the bridge on Teke Burton Drive to Pleasant View Drive will be closed from Friday August 3rd at 5 p.m. to Saturday, August 4th at 6 p.m. for racers.
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