By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore City Council, with two members absent and Mayor Jim Staff taking part in the votes, approved during the panel’s Monday, November 14, meeting the purchase of software for in-car computers and printers that were donated to Atmore Police Department.
District 4’s Shawn Lassiter was reportedly snowed in at an out-of-state airport, and District 1’s Webb Nall was sick, causing each to miss the session.
The council also reappointed a member of a local board, voted to auction two vans that are currently among the SAIL Center fleet and to approve cost reports for recent weed and grass mitigation on seven properties.
Police Chief Chuck Brooks said the computers and printers, part of Alacourt’s Mobile Data Information System, would allow officers to prepare most traffic citations and accidents reports while on-scene.
“This has been about three years in the making,” Brooks said. “Alacourt is phasing out paper tickets. Now the tickets will be generated by computer. Alacourt has donated 20 hard-case laptop computers that will be put in our patrol cars, along with 20 printers that go with them. That’s about $50,000 worth right there.
“Now, when a dispatcher enters a call or complaint, it will show up on the officer’s laptop. I can’t tell you how much time that saves. It keeps officers on the road.”
The city will have to purchase (from Southern Software) the software for the MDIS hardware at a cost of $37,000. Brooks said he would use as much grant money as possible to help mitigate the cost.
“I know this is a substantial amount, but we’re in line for a $24,000 grant which we will use to pay on this and cut the cost,” said Brooks. “Any other grants we can get, we’ll use to offset this expense.”
In other business, the council:
*Authorized the sealed-bid auction of two SAIL Center vans, with a minimum bid of $6,000 required for each. The city began accepting bids Wednesday, November 16 and will continue to accept bids through November 28, at which time the bids will be opened, and the winning bidder(s) notified. Funds from the sale will be used for roof and other repairs at the center.
*Reviewed and approved cost reports for recent removal of weed and grass nuisances on seven properties. Codes Enforcement Officer Greg Vaughn said the cost “averaged around $450” for each property, and that tax liens would be placed on each property for the amount owed the city.
*Approved the reappointment of Leigh Ann Rowland to the Atmore Library Board