For the eighth consecutive year Brown County Safe Communities presented the “Friend of Brown County Safe Communities” awards. These awards began as a way of recognizing individuals, groups, agencies or organizations who have increase traffic safety in the county by means of education, road maintenance or additional signage.
This year, BCSC is honored to recognized three organizations in their never-ending tasks of keeping the roadways safe for vehicles, bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. A ceremony was held on Sept. 8 at the Southern Hills Career and Technical center to acknowledge these recipients.
The first recipient was the Brown County Engineer and Highway Department under the direction of Todd Cluxton, County Engineer. The Brown County Highway Department is responsible for the maintaining of approximately 335 miles of road in Brown County. This includes resurfacing, widening, road relocation, bridge and culvert reconstruction, and removing snow/ice in winter months. The Department also works closely with its township trustees to improve approximately 387 miles of township roadways. Cluxton stated the men of the department are the true recipients of this award. It is through their efforts, determination and hard work that the roadways are safe for all Brown County travelers.
The second recipient was Ohio Department of Transportation, District 9 with Craig Stout as the Transportation Administrator. In each county, the highway maintenance workforce is comprised of highway technicians, auto technicians and office personnel. The HTs are the most visible of all ODOT employees, as they are the ones who are seen clearing the state highway system of snow and ice during the winter-weather months. In addition to this and responding to emergencies as needed, maintenance crews perform other operations throughout the year, including: pavement repair, guardrail installation/repair, culvert replacement, and sign installation. The Brown County state highway system is comprised of 14 state routes and four federal routes (472 total lane miles) and 126 bridges.The ODOT also assists the Ohio State Highway Patrol with its OVI checkpoints by restricting road use and lighting the stops to keep the officers safe. Accepting the award with Stout were Kevin Pickerill and Stevie Fussnecker.
The third recipient was the Village of Georgetown with Mayor Dale Cahall. Accepting with Mayor Cahall was Village Administrator Art Owens. The village of Georgetown was platted in 1819 and as of the 2010 census, is home to 4,331 people. Its total area of 4.04 square miles has 17 acres of the village listed on the National Register of Historic Places and named the Georgetown Historic District (1978). Just recently the village erected new pedestrian crossing signs at the crosswalks on state Route 125 thru the village. The plan is that next year they will erect signs along Main Street, helping to make pedestrians safer.
The Coalition’s overall mission is to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries and associated costs, increase safety awareness, and increase the number of people involved in keeping Brown County safe. Our top four priority traffic safety issues for FFY 2015 were restraint use, impaired driving/alcohol related crash prevention, motorcycle safety, and a continued increased emphasis on teen driver safety and distracted driving.
Brown County Safe Communities began in October of 2000 and is a coalition of concerned citizens, service agencies, law enforcement agencies, schools, businesses, and government.
BCSC is funded by the USDOT/NHTSA and ODPS/Ohio State Highway Patrol-Ohio Traffic Safety Office and administered locally by the Area Health Education Center of the University of Cincinnati AHEC Program.