City plans hearing on park signs

JOHNSTOWN – The Common Council last week scheduled a public hearing to change the city Code of Ordinances and allow the city to install new no-parking signs on three Johnstown Industrial Park roads.

Council members have for months discussed the crumbling infrastructure at the industrial park off Route 30A. Officials hope new no-parking signs will cut down on some of the illegal truck traffic.

The council voted to conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. May 6 at City Hall to amend the city’s Code of Ordinances to prohibit parking on several streets in the industrial park. They are Opportunity Drive, Venture Drive and Enterprise Road.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a while,” said Mayor Sarah Slingerland. “It’s the least restrictive and most cost-effective thing.”

The council would be amending Chapter 20, Section 20-207 of the code titled, “Streets Where Parking Is Prohibited.”

Second Ward Councilman Chris Foss asked if the city should notify businesses in the industrial park of the pending changes in signage, and Slingerland said that would be a good idea.

“It is always very striking to me how busy that park is,” Slingerland said.

The mayor said the average city resident probably doesn’t go to the industrial park, but there is always a high traffic count from business vehicles using the park.

Foss said the state of the roads has been an “issue” since the Walmart Regional Distribution Center was opened in the early 2000s.

Slingerland said busy activity at the industrial park leads to “jobs and prosperity,” but the city must continue to monitor infrastructure there.

The industrial park, built in 1992 off Route 30A, contains the 700-employee Walmart center and 240-employee, expanding Fage USA, among other businesses.

City officials for many years have pointed out that heavy trucks, especially rigs that pull off onto shoulders waiting to enter the businesses’ lots, are tearing up roads. Unsafe parking and code-enforcement issues have increasingly caught the eye of city officials in recent years.

Michael Anich can be reached at