Council action may force students to change parking habits

Rachel Abbey

Students who normally choose North Willow Street for a convenient place to park during nights spent bar- or frat-hopping will need a new location. Kent City Council passed a draft last night banning parking on the street between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

North Willow Street, located off Main Street by the Haymaker Parkway intersection, tends to be a favorite parking spot of students headed downtown, council member Carrie Gavriloff said.

While the street may be the location of 101 Bottles, it is also home to many local families. The parking restrictions will help protect the neighborhood, Gavriloff said.

Kent police will begin enforcing the ban as soon as possible, Gavriloff said, and signs will be posted with the new restrictions.

Council also approved further examination of a proposal by Fire Chief Jim Williams. Williams discussed the possibility of creating a county-wide fire district, rather than the current system of divided departments.

Departments will study the possibility of merging – from stations helping each other on calls; to departments combining staffs and services; to no change at all – to see what would be most cost effective and efficient for citizens. Williams said the final recommendation will be in the best interest of residents.

“It’s not for the fire department. It’s not for the city,” Williams said. “It’s for the people we serve.”

The council requested to be updated as the study progresses.

Members also approved a resolution allowing the repaving of state Route 43 in Kent. It is unknown exactly when the project will begin, but it is planned for 2007.

Contact public affairs reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].