Town pays for police car equipmentBy Emily Beckett Published 6:19pm Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Maplesville Town Council voted Tuesday to use money the town has collected through the Safe Streets Act to have equipment installed in the police department’s newest vehicle.
With the former council’s approval, the police department purchased the 2008 Chevrolet Impala, which already contained an interior cage, for $14,000 in October.
Although the vehicle initially was to be the police chief’s car, Chief Todd Ingram asked that the council approve to designate it as a regular patrol car.
The cost to have general equipment installed will be about $3,000, and the council will make a decision later on whether to purchase a camera for the vehicle.
The council approved a six-month pay raise for Officer Casey O’Farril, who will have completed a full year at the town’s police department in April 2013.
The former council had approved periodic pay raises for O’Farril—as long as he met the department’s expectations—because he paid his Police Academy expenses himself.
“He paid his $1,200 to go to the academy himself,” Mayor W.C. Hayes said.
For the street department, the council decided to wait to replace a trailer and generator stolen from the department’s lot until it can evaluate the town’s property insurance and determine whether the insurance needs to be updated.
The generator was used to bring electricity into the town hall during power outages and storms.
The council voted to allow Town Clerk Sheila Haigler to purchase more LED lightbulbs for Maplesville’s Christmas decorations on the light poles.
Haigler said the town started replacing the old lights with the LED variety and added timers last year, both of which conserved enough electricity to bring down the town’s bill from $3,000 to $600, a difference of $2,400.
Before the timers were added, the lights stayed on for 24 hours a day. With the timers, the lights come on at 6 p.m. and go off at 2 a.m.
For the fire department, the council approved fire and rescue volunteer applications for Amanda Hubbard and Jeremy Hubbard.
Assistant EMS Chief Christine Epperson and the fire department organized the annual Maplesville Christmas Parade set for Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.
“The lineup is very, very good already,” Christine Epperson said and added that parade participants need to meet at Maplesville High School at 3:30 p.m., and float judging will be at 4:15 p.m.
In new business, the council approved to change an ordinance setting the issuance fee for business licenses.
The state recently announced that instead of charging as much as $10 for business licenses, municipalities could charge as much as $12, increasing the cap by $2.
The council approved to increase the charge to $10 in Maplesville, where about 800 licenses are issued each year.
In other business, the council:
•Approved minutes from its organizational meeting Nov. 5, during which the newly elected mayor and council were sworn in.
•Approved to purchase a new phone system in the near future to replace the current one that has sustained damage in storms.
•Approved a new safety committee comprised of the mayor, police chief, fire chief, street superintendent and council members Hal Harrison and Richard Davis.
•Approved sending a Christmas ornament to Gov. Robert Bentley to be displayed along with other Alabama cities’ and towns’ ornaments on a Christmas tree at the state Capitol. Wayne Arnold and Dale Greene crafted the ornament out of a piece of wood from the Bitternut Hickory tree formerly located in the backyard at the historic Foshee house. Councilwoman Hilda Atchison decorated the ornament.