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Aldermen agree on use of unmarked cars

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

MINER - The use of unmarked cars by the Miner Police Department has received the blessing of the Board of Aldermen.

"There's been a lot of controversy about the plain cars," said Mayor Frank Tatum in opening the discussion on the board's first agenda item for their regular meeting Tuesday. "We'll just let the board decide."

The board voted 3-1 to approve unmarked cars with boardmember Betty Barnes entering the dissenting vote.

Tatum then opened the next topic related to the Miner Police Department: "I've caught them speed trapping on the interstate myself." He recommended the board vote to keep their police department off the interstate.

Alderman Tom Brock said it has long been his opinion that if the city's officers have time to just sit on the interstate, then the department is overstaffed.

On the other hand, Brock continued, a drunk driver doing 110 mph was recently caught by a Miner officer during his patrol there, and it is fine with him "if they want to make a loop every once in awhile."

Mitch Thompson said it is a police issue and said he would not vote. "They can do their job however they see fit," he said.

Barnes disagreed and said it was the board's decision. She also said she does not mind Miner officers patrolling the interstate occasionally, but is opposed to them sitting on it. "That's speed trapping and I'm not for it."

Brock agreed with Thompson that it is up to the department's chief, Roger Moore. "He was elected by the citizens, let him run it," Brock said.

Tatum said if he wants to, he can just write off every ticket the Miner police write. "I'm the mayor - legally I can pardon," he said.

In other old business, the board approved lift station repairs by Cowan Construction and tabled a decision on establishing a domestic violence shelter surcharge on all tickets. "I'd like to see some more information on it," Brock said.

In new City of Miner business:

* Monthly sewer primacy fees went up 3 cents and trash collection rates were increased by 17 cents.

The increases were mandatory due to state fees, according to city officials.

* The bid to conduct the city's annual audit was awarded to the sole bidder, Beussink, Hey and Roe, a Cape Girardeau accounting firm, for $5,500.

* The board will schedule a presentation from Jerry Howard, a former congressman, on grants that may be available to the city.

* The bid to repair city hall's roof was awarded to the low bidder, Pyramid Roofing of Sikeston, for $4,505.

Also bidding were Dean King Roofing and Construction, which offered to do the job for $5,900, and Allan Hopper, which bid the job at $5,600.

* Tatum agreed to send a letter from the board to J.D.'s regarding citizen complaints about loud music late at night on the weekends.