The Ely City Council held a public hearing at last Thursday’s meeting regarding making the intersection of 8th Street and Aultman into a two way street.
Public comment was encouraged to anyone physically attending the meeting, as well as anyone on zoom.
George Chachas spoke during public comment noting he didn’t feel there was a need to have the street become a two way street.
“You need the parking, it’s worked for years, as a resident of this community, I encourage you to leave it as is,” he said.
Pat Stork, business owner of Racks Bar & Grill located at 753 Aultman St., felt different on the agenda item.
“There is a need to have this, you know it don’t affect George’s business but it does affect my business by having that road one way when they close it on Clark Street,” Stork said. “I encourage you to change that road to two way.”
Stork went on to explain to the council and mayor that it wouldn’t be any different than most of the side streets located off Aultman in the downtown area.
“But to say it’s not an effect on a business it’s a huge effect on my business when delivery trucks can’t get in,” Stork said. “I disagree with Mr. Chachas. I encourage you to change it to both directions, so you can exit on Aultman left or right.”
Mayor Nathan Robertson noted his concerns if it would become an issue for teachers and staff that park in the area.
White Pine County Sheriff Scott Henriod also brought to Robertson’s attention the visibility issue when making a left turn on to Aultman.
“Either or, I do agree with business owner Stork of the need, that it generally matches other streets down there and the street matches the size,” Robertson said, before he asked if anyone else had questions or comments.
Jim Alworth, City of Ely Councilman agreed with Stork.
“I know at the last meeting, I mentioned it being a right hand turn only- – I don’t know if that curb in front of the old Plaza Hotel if we could have it painted red, I do think it’s a due need too,” Alworth said. “They put a nice parking lot back there, I think it’s time to change things.”
The public hearing was closed, and it came time to vote. Alworth, made the motion to change to two way traffic, with possible consideration from NDOT Traffic staff.
Carson seconded the motion and the motion was approved unanimously.