Cleveland seeks police chief, deals with other business

Several applications for police chief for the town of Cleveland have been received but ruled out because background checks were unsatisfactory. Mayor Jerry Jones requested that the council approve advertising for two more weeks to try to find qualified candidates.

Jones recommended a starting base salary of $32,000 for the position, and recommended specifying that a candidate live within or move to within 15 miles of the town hall in order to qualify for the job.

Councilman David Grigsby moved to advertise for two more weeks incorporating those considerations. The motion passed by unanimous vote of the council.

Councilman Doug Hill reported that park board members selected are Lonnie Woodard, James Sullivan, Sarah Neny, Brandi Thomas, and Maria Luviano.

In other park business, Hill noted that outstanding dues of $600 for softball and $800 for baseball have not been paid. A letter has been sent to Johnny Walker and Doug Strong to pay them. Agreement was general that dues must be paid before fall or spring play can begin.

In other old business, the council:

•voted to reimburse MJE Oil and M&K Mercantile for overcollection of taxes during the period of 10/1/05 to 9/30/08; auditors agreed that a refund of $3,221.97 is owed. Glenn Puckett moved that the claim be paid from general fund, and the motion was unanimously approved with Mike Evans abstaining.

•noted that the culvert on Chigger Road has been replaced, as reported by the mayor who said that once the fill dirt around the culvert settles, the school bus will be able to turn around there again.

•was informed by Eldridge Bynum that the grant application for welcome signs has already been submitted; application for two weather warning sirens is ready to send, and word should be received back within two to three weeks.

•discussed developing a new recreation park on town property near the sewer plant; property would be developed in two phases, with the first phase being a practice field for football and soccer and the second being a second full-sized field with bleachers, concession stand, walking track, and perhaps picnic tables; it will be necessary to fill in a shallow pond and relocate a creek, requiring an environmental agency approval before the plan can proceed.

•heard that the medical board is looking into repairs and improvements that need to be made at the Cleveland family medical clinic; the board will make recommendations for needed improvements to the hospital board.

•unanimously passed Glenn Puckett’s motion to contribute $200 to the Blount County Sheriff’s Department for an additional drug dog.

•considered a recommendation from water department head Steve Pass to raise water fees by 7.36 percent, which would result in an increase of $2.80 per month on average water bills. The rate increase would not apply to minimumusage customers, whose rates would remain at $18 for 2000 gallons or less per month; the motion to raise rates on average bills passed.

•discussed an Alabama Department of Enviromental Management mandate to hire an additional worker for the water department at a starting wage of $10/ hour, to be paid out of the general fund; no motion was offered at the meeting.

•listened to an extensvie presentation by Courteney McCoy of the Hartline Company in Arab concerning acquiring a debit card machine to use for water department bills and possible other town uses; cost is 1.5 percent of amount billed for use of service plus a 75-cent transaction fee for each use; no decision was made on the matter.

•approved Doug Hill’s motion to purchase an ad for the town in the Cleveland High School football program.

Mayor Jones and all council members were present at the meeting: Mike Evans, Kandy Little, Doug Hill, David Grigsby, and Glenn Puckett. The next regular meeting is Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. at Cleveland Town Hall.