Village council members serving on the safety committee have been discussing since May the purchase of at least one, or possibly more, speed-monitoring devices.

Village council members serving on the safety committee have been discussing since May the purchase of at least one, or possibly more, speed-monitoring devices.

Currently, the village of Canal Winchester is partial owner of a speed trailer along with Groveport and Madison Township.

The village only gets use of the speed trailer once every three weeks, and its traffic-study equipment has been malfunctioning for more than a year now.

The idea of purchasing a unit solely for the village was introduced by Councilwoman Bobbie Mershon, who chairs council's safety committee.

"I just think that the way the village is growing, we need (it on) a more consistent basis," Mershon said.

Results of the 2000 Census placed the village population at 4,478, but estimates made in April by planning and zoning administrator Allan Neimayer have shown the population to be about 6,500.

Mershon said the speed monitoring devices would be a good way to monitor and deter speeders, especially around school areas.

"That is the number one complaint whenever you go door to door," she said at the meeting Monday night.

According to a rough draft of the 2009 operating budget, $5,000 has been set aside for a speed trailer.

Although they still support the purchase, Councilmen Rick Deeds and John Bender want to see more information.

Deeds said he wanted to ensure council members understood the speeding situation before buying a speed monitoring device.

"When I drive through Canal Winchester, I just don't see much (speeding)," Bender said. "I'd like to find out from the sheriff's office what they think."

Fairfield County Sheriff's Sgt. Kirk C. Kern said complaints about speeding usually occur on Pfeifer Drive, Dietz Road, as well as Washington and Waterloo Streets.

Sgt. Kern added that he has received about three speeding complaints in the past six months.

"It's not an everyday complaint to us," he said.

Bender also said he would like to find whether speeding is increasing or decreasing in the village.

According to the information supplied by Amanda Parker, village clerk of courts, there were 379 speeding citations between Jan. 1, 2007 and June 19, 2007. In contrast, there have been 207 speeding citations for the same dates this year.

"I didn't get the impression from the deputy that (speeding) is increasing," Bender said.

Still, Bender conceded to the fact that Mershon has done a lot more door-to-door campaigning in the past, so the complaints are valid.

"If it would make our town safer, then I'm all for it," Bender said.

Deeds said speed trailers are handy for the ability to conduct traffic studies, as well as possibly prove that speeding is not a problem.

He has also heard the complaints from residents.

"Across the whole village, (speeding) is probably the biggest complaint. That's a good problem to have," Deeds said. "Obviously, it could be a lot worse."

ebrooks@thisweeknews.com