By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore City Council members gave the green light during their Monday, December 14, meeting to the purchase of two used vehicles for the city police department. The council also took two matters under advisement and heard a request from District 3 Councilwoman Eunice Johnson for measures to enhance the public safety in her district.
The only business item settled during the meeting was a resolution approving the purchase, from Alabama Department of Transportation’s Surplus Property Division, of two vehicles of unspecified make or model. Chief Chuck Brooks will drive one of the two “new” vehicles, which came at a cost of “about $20,000 each,” according to City Clerk Becca Smith. The other will reportedly be used by APD’s Investigative Division.
Chuck Riley of Bill Salter Advertising asked permission to rebuild a billboard that was broken in September by Hurricane Sally’s winds. The sign is located at the intersection of U.S. 31 and 6th Avenue, on land leased from a local minister who uses the revenue to fund a food distribution ministry. Mayor Jim Staff told Riley the city would take the matter under advisement and get back in touch with the company.
Also taken under consideration but not acted upon immediately was a request Johnson passed on for local businessman Shawn Rounsavall, who complained of pot holes in the parking area near his businesses and asked that the city make improvements to the drainage in the area adjacent to his businesses.
Johnson then maintained that a stronger police presence was needed in District 3, an area where she said traffic congestion and public safety breaches have become common.
“In several areas there are a lot of gatherings, and people can’t even get by the cars parked everywhere, especially on Montgomery Street,” the first-term council member said. “And there are continually drive-by shootings in the Maxwell Street and Gray Street areas. For the safety of our community, we need some new lights in that area, and we need more patrols by the police.”
Prior to adjournment, District 4’s Shawn Lassiter praised police for their quick response last week when a neighbor’s home was broken into by two juveniles.