The speed of trains traveling through Gurdon and the cost of having a party topped the agenda for the September Gurdon City Council meeting.

The speed of trains traveling through Gurdon and the cost of having a party topped the agenda for the September Gurdon City Council meeting.
Members of the Gurdon City Council were told that the Union Pacific tracks that run through Gurdon are Class 5 tracks. The speed limit for Class 5 is 80 miles per hour.  Although speeds in the past have been restricted to 40 miles an hour in the Gurdon area for various reasons, the council received notice that those speeds will be increasing by five miles per hour each week to 70 miles an hour. The speed increases will start on Sept. 28 and will be 70 miles an hour effective Nov. 2.
That means that the speed will be increased to 45 miles per hour, then to 50, and so on until the trains are traveling at the 70 mile per hour maximum.
“I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it. They own the track,” said Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin.
There were however some concerns over adding additional crossing guards for the tracks that just have warning lights.    
“That can be something we look into,” added Franklin.
The council, which met Monday, Sept. 21, also continued a discussion of an ordinance to control large gatherings. A proposal was made to enforce a $100 refundable permit fee for gatherings of 100 or more with religious, municipal, family and school functions being exempt. The permit will need to be issued two weeks in advance. It can be obtained either by calling the city or by written letter. If there are no complaints or law enforcement needed the permit money will be returned.  There were some concerns whether or not such an ordinances was legal. “I would personally like to see that number decreased to fifty. It would be hard for one officer to control 100 people, said member David Buck. Also, it was suggested that non-profits also be exempt from the permit fee. After speaking with an attorney and checking with other cities the council unanimously passed the ordinance with the minor changes.
In other business, the Council approved the purchase of a “new” fire truck. The 1990 model fire truck is not new, but it great condition. “Chief Robert Burns and Fireman Jimmy Martin inspected the truck and both agree it would supply the city ample trucks for many years,” said Franklin. A new fire truck would cost the city around 150,000 dollars, but the city was able to purchase the truck for about 29,000. The city intends to sell on truck that is now in service and place those funds in the Capital Improvement Fire Account.
Harry Russell, a resident of Ward 4 in Gurdon, requested the opportunity to fill a vacancy on the council and that request was unanimously approved by the council.