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Leadington aldermen address law enforcement, other citizen concerns

Officer Andrew Lewis address the Leadington Board of Aldermen at Tuesday evening’s meeting. (Jeannie Barton-Northrup)

Jeannie Barton-Northrup,

The topic of law enforcement dominated the conversation at last Tuesday’s Leadington Board of Aldermen meeting. The meeting began with questions from the aldermen and the mayor to Chief of Police Jerry Hicks about how the code enforcement process works.

“Well, normally, the way I have started is, I go by and talk to them and give them a couple of weeks to correct [the problem]. If it’s not fixed, we do have warnings that are filled out. Now they’re given a specific time period for correction. And after that, the citation comes in,” explained Hicks. Hicks also verified the code enforcement process is for derelict vehicles, unkempt yards, and other violations.

The second topic for law enforcement discussion was a request from Officer Andrew Lewis to attend training for certification as a law enforcement sniper. The training course is a four-day class in Tennessee and will cost the city approximately $2,600. The board unanimously approved funding for the certification.

Law enforcement wrapped up its portion of the meeting by requesting approval to sell surplus equipment to other law enforcement agencies.

Lewis said, “We have a bunch of surplus equipment as far as belts, stuff like that — nothing serialized. We would like to start selling and utilizing that money to go towards training funds, equipment funds, basically just to help fund some of the more minor things that we need without having to, you know, dig into our budgets. We would do a monthly report of what items we put for sale, what sold, and how much we sold them for. Everything we’ve done with those items will be brought to the board so you can see exactly what went where; that way, you know exactly what’s going on.”

Mayor Joe Davis said, “Just make sure you check all the boxes. That way, everything is transparent and on the up and up, and it’s legal to sell, then I’m okay with it.”

The rest of the board agreed with Davis.

Another topic for discussion was the reinvestment of CDs. The board unanimously agreed to reinvest five existing CDs with Belgrade State Bank at a 5.36% rate for ten months. Other low-interest CDs are held in different banks. Still, diversification rules must be examined before investing those CDs with Belgrade, even though they promote the highest interest rate.

The council discussed grants for improvements to roads and intersections in the community.

Deborah McCarver, city clerk, introduced suggestions from citizens for crosswalks to Woodlawn Cemetery.

Davis said, “I would love to entertain that. That is all state. Until it’s some type of major hazard the state wants to get involved with, we’re kind of handcuffed. It’s the same thing for anything that is Business Route Highway 67, or that goes into 32. We cannot do anything here, especially with the stoplights and the state-run bridge. Crosswalks are a phenomenal idea. Write your local representative. The city would love to attend and support anybody who wants to try to do one of those initiatives. As a city, we cannot do anything to that intersection.”

Davis complimented Alderman Andrew Young on his efforts to engage the community through Facebook.

“Andrew has done a phenomenal job as an alderman reaching out via social media to try to figure out questions and concerns people have in the community. Unfortunately, about 90% of those have to do with the plaza,” said Davis about the strip mall that has been in decline for a number of years.

“Unfortunately, that plaza is not city property. It is privately owned and leased. Anything to do with that building and those parking lots, as much as we would like to address — and trust me, we talk to the lessees over there quite a bit — we cannot do anything with it,” Davis said about citizen concerns regarding the St. Francois Plaza.

McCarver reported on the city’s payroll audit. Workman’s compensation insurance increased by nearly $100,000 due to raises to city employee wages and a couple of police vehicle accidents. The police department plans to participate in safety videos from the insurance provider to receive a 5% discount.

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