BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. (AP) -Village trustees recently decided to lower the speed limit in most of the downtown from 25 to 15 mph, and the change is scheduled to go into effect Friday.

The decision came despite opposition from some local residents, who called the lower speed limit unreasonable and just plain slow.

“Fifteen miles per hour is unreasonable,” said Jernon Temple, who came to a meeting of the trustees Wednesday to try to convince them to rescind their order.

Temple said the village’s reputation could suffer as tourists receive speeding tickets for traveling at 25 mph.

“It is going to cause bad feelings about the town, and next summer they won’t come back,” Temple said.

Bellows Falls resident Michael Reynolds suggested a compromise speed limit.

“Fifteen miles per hour is ridiculously slow,” said Reynolds. “If the speed needs to be reduced, why not go to 20.”

Board members say the decision could be changed if the village finds out that it’s not working.

Police Chief Keith Clark was at the meeting. He said the 15 mph speed limit was his idea, and he stood by it.

“This town has seen significant growth and a lot of our streets are narrow,” Clark said. “The town is growing and we have to take steps to ensure the safety of our citizens.”

Board Chairman Charlie Jarras agreed.

“Obviously there are concerns, but I still think it is a good idea,” Jarras said. “I’ve seen a lot of near accidents. Twenty-five miles per hour is too fast. Period.”

Municipal Manager Shane O’Keefe said new signs showing the speed limit cost about $60 each, and he said the town will be putting up about 15 of them.

AP-ES-07-15-04 0712EDT

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