MINER - Police Chief Roger Moore's plan to put an unmarked car into service received a less-than-enthusiastic response during Tuesday's regular board of aldermen meeting.
In the city's last item of business for the evening, Mayor Frank Tatum asked Moore why the emergency light bar been removed from a patrol car's roof and the lights placed in the rear window. "Do you plan on putting a plain car in service?" Tatum asked.
Moore said the patrol car's decals were peeling off and confirmed the light bar was moved. He asked Tatum what the problem with his intention to use an unmarked car was. "We haven't even put it on the road yet," said Moore.
Tatum said he had already received negative comments on it from the city residents. "I'm not going to stop for a plain car," agreed one resident at the meeting.
Alderman Tom Brock pointed out that it was Moore who was elected to run the police department, but Tatum said he believed a decision like putting an unmarked car into service should come before the board of aldermen.
In other business covered during Tuesday's meeting:
* After consulting with attorneys and engineers about running water to the Ferrell property, City Attorney Joe Fuchs reported he was advised by the city's bond company that the city does not have the financial capability to finance any projects presently as all available revenue from the water district is being used to pay the existing lease-purchase debt.
Fuchs said he asked when the city might be able to take on additional debt. "He wouldn't give us an answer."
Frank Ferrell asked how it came to pass that the project's engineer did not see them on the map and contact them regarding participation. "That property's been in the city limits for 30 years," noted Brock, and commented on the difficulty of selling property with "promised" water.
The Ferrells confirmed they have people interested in purchasing the property. "We had an additional inquiry today," said Bill Ferrell.
Fuchs agreed to look into the interstate highway right-of-ways that may provide a less-costly way of running water to the property by avoiding the I-55 interchange ramp area.
* The board tabled a decision on reimbursing city resident A.C. James $720 in charges from his contractor after his project was halted by city officials.
James had hired the contractor to install sewer pipes after his property was missed in the water and sewer project.
* An ordinance putting a proposal which would divert some of the city's tourism tax to the city's general revenue fund back on the ballot for the April election was tabled until next month's meeting with Brock agreeing to check on finding ground for a city park.
Alderperson Betty Barnes said she was against the money going to run the city. "The money was to build a community center or something for the citizens of Miner," said Barnes. "The city should run the city."
"Things are different now than at (the tourism tax's) inception," said Alderman Mitch Thompson.
* A call for a municipal election April 8 was approved.
Miner voters will select a collector for a four-year term and aldermen for two-year terms in Wards 1 and 2 at the April election.
Filing for the city positions runs from Dec. 24 through Jan. 21.
Although city hall was originally scheduled to be closed Dec. 24, City Clerk Janet Tuttle will staff the offices from 8-10 a.m. Dec. 24 for early filers. Filing will then resume on Dec. 26.
* The board approved guidelines and salary for the collector setting the position's term at four years and a hourly rate of $12 per hour.
* An amendment extending the city clerk's contract one and a half years was approved by the board.
* Board members approved $900 to send four of the city's firemen to a training course.
Fire Chief Randy Baker said the winter training course is the only one the department asks for from the city with all other training paid by the employees themselves.
Baker said the department has traditionally sent two rookies and two veteran firefighters selected from the department by lottery to attend. "We've always sent four," said Baker, "except last year when only one was sent."
"Is it really going to help the fire department?" asked Tatum.
"Yes, it is," Baker answered. He added that the state certification received by participants benefits all Miner residents by lowering their insurance rates.
* The board authorized Tuttle to seek cleaning services for city hall's carpets and tile.