Marked or unmarked?
MINER - Unmarked Miner police department cars was once again the hot topic for Tuesday's regular Miner Board of Aldermen meeting.
Mayor Frank Tatum brought the issue up again by noting two of the city's patrol cars now have their emergency light bars removed and asked Police Chief Roger Moore what the purpose of unmarked cars would be.
Moore explained that during drug busts, unmarked cars enable officers to get closer to the subjects and identify them before they flee.
Betty Barnes, board member, said she had no objections to removing the emergency light bars from the cars, but insisted they should still be marked with Miner decals.
Tatum asked about the city's past drug busts, then abandoned his arguments with a final sarcastic comment: "Make them all plain, Roger. Make them all look good."
Turning to a $2,000 repair bill from Stinnett and Burrows for the police cars, the board approved paying the bill but cautioned that all such expenditures need to be approved by the board in advance.
Moore advised that his department was down to a single car during the Thanksgiving holiday and needed the patrol cars repaired immediately.
In other old business:
* The board voted to run water and sewer lines to the Ferrell property when funds become available or when the Ferrells find a buyer.
* With questions about whether the proper permits were ever obtained for the project, the board again declined to reimburse city resident A.C. James $720 for halting his project.
James hired a contractor on his own to install sewer pipes after his property was missed in the water and sewer project.
* The board opted to not place a tourism tax distribution measure on the ballot.
The measure, which was narrowly rejected by voters during the Aug. 6 election, would have diverted some of the city's tourism money to the city's general revenue fund and used some for capitol improvements.
Turning to new business, the board asked fire division chief Randy Baker to seek more bids before approving the purchase of an additional furnace to heat the department's building.
Baker explained the building had been expanded, placing too much of a load on the existing heater.
In other new business:
* The board approved hiring Phil Black as the city's accountant.
Janet Tuttle, city clerk, said she had still not received any proposals from firms interested in doing the city's audit, which is due the last day of this month.
* A bid of $4,500 to wire a generator to the police station was awarded to Willard Fincher of Sikeston.
"It needs to be done," said Alderman Mitch Thompson. "It should have been done long ago."
* Stephanie Downing, the new director of the House of Refuge domestic violence shelter, asked the board to reinstate the city's domestic violence surcharge and assist with the shelter's funding.
The board said they would like to consider the matter.
* The board approved paying the $9,432 premium for one year of property and equipment insurance coverage through Brooks Insurance.