At the request of Diboll school administrators, Diboll city leaders have adopted a distance ordinance for beer and wine retailers. Alcohol outlets must stay at least 300 feet from schools, churches, hospitals, and day care centers. Several businesses have already filled out applications for variances to that ordinance.
City Manager Kenneth Williams said, "Whenever the variance gets heard by the city council, it can depend on whether it's a hardship case, if it's causing something extreme upon a business, if it's something that's good for the welfare of the community, those types of issues [if the council approves it]."
With beer and wine sales beginning soon in Diboll, the city council is also planning to install cameras at the town's traffic lights. The pictures taken by those cameras would show the license plates of cars that run through red lights. A citation would then go to the home address where the car is registered, along with a photo of the vehicle in the intersection.
Police Chief Kent Havard said, "These lights will be monitored 24 hours a day to help improve the safety at these three intersections. Two of these intersections are direct routes to public schools, so we have kids crossing there every morning, every afternoon."
Chief Havard said the cameras won't cost the city anything because workers will not have to go underground to install them. There'll be two cameras at the lights for a back and front view of traffic violators.
Diboll police expect to have a camera installed at each intersection in the city within the next 60 to 90 days.
The City of Lufkin is also talking about installing cameras at several traffic intersections around town. Council members will vote on the first reading of an ordinance to get those devices next Tuesday night. They're expected to give final approval on January 2nd.