Altamont to crack down on drivers using dead end street; doubles late fee for El Rancherito lease

Jan. 25—ALTAMONT — The Altamont City Council is cracking down on drivers using a dead-end street after a resident who lives on the street informed them it is still being used as a shortcut by drivers passing through the area.

The council discussed potential solutions to the problem during a meeting Monday.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Altamont resident Becky Turner asked if anything could be done about non-residential vehicles driving on Wurl Lane, where she lives.

The road was declared a dead-end street in September, but according to Turner, it is still being used by some motorists on a regular basis.

The city had previously decided that improving and widening the road would be too costly.

Turner asked the council why the road can't be opened in its current condition.

"It's not wide enough for two vehicles to properly pass and maintain the drainage on both sides, especially this time of year," Commissioner Tayler Polk said.

Mayor Jason Rippetoe told Turner the city will work with local law enforcement and try to put an end to the problem.

"Sorry for the inconvenience, but we'll do what we can to straighten this out," Rippetoe said.

The council warned that drivers caught driving on Wurl Lane will be fined.

Also during the meeting, the council discussed the city's lease agreement with El Rancherito after City Clerk Sarah Stephen reported the restaurant has been habitually late on payments for the past year.

"We shouldn't have to chase them down," Altamont City Commissioner Michael Walker said.

After some discussion, the council agreed doubling the late fee to $200 a month would be the best course of action.

Polk, however, voiced concern that raising fees too high for late payments might make it difficult for businesses like El Rancherito to thrive in Altamont.

"At the end of the day, you want Altamont to be a place where people want to do business, not a place where people have to do business," Polk said.

Also during Monday's meeting, the council approved two payments for the ongoing sewer and drainage work being done in South Point Subdivision — $82,000 to Kieffer Brothers Construction for street drainage and $56,520 for the installation of the subdivision's sewer.

As the city's commissioners gave their reports, Altamont City Commissioner Dan Milleville said the city has made progress in its efforts to eradicate the mole infestation at Gilbert Park.

"We feel like we gained some ground," he said. "At the first sign of seeing a mole, we'll have a trap somewhere."

The council's next regular meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13.

Nick Taylor can be reached at or by phone at 618-510-9226 or 217-347-7151 ext. 300132.