Town Crier News Staff
Medical and emergency needs proved to be the lengthiest topics during the Leachville City Council 3 1/2 hour meeting Monday evening, April 9, as they made decisions on primary 911 ambulance service providers and random drug testing.
Brian Kibler, president of Medic One, visited the council meeting last month requesting his ambulance service be listed as primary source emergency provider with the 911 service. Currently Buffalo Island EMS Rescue 36, out of Monette, is listed as the primary provider. Medic One operates an Advanced Life Support system and Monette's Rescue 36 is a Basic Life Support system.
According to the Leachville First Responder's report for 2006, Medic One answered 75 percent of the calls for an ambulance in Leachville.
"I like having both of them available," said Police Chief Bryan Crites.
"I do too," said Alderman Teresa Johnson. "Rescue 36 would call Medic One for a back-up if they were out on a run, but Medic One doesn't call Rescue 36, instead they call their nearest Medic One ambulance, which is the Osceola unit. With Medic One answering most of the calls now, the way it is set up, it has seemed to have worked out. The welfare of the patient is what is important."
"If we do away with Monette then we may burn a bridge we can't recover," said alderman John Sloan.
"If the call comes into the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department, they call Medic One," said Crites.
"Time is of essence," said alderman Bruce Wilson.
"I like it the way it is," said alderman Mark Wheeler. "Medic One doesn't have permission to be exclusive. The way it is now, the first available ambulance will respond, and if more extensive help is needed it will be on the way."
The council decided to leave Rescue 36 as the primary service provider for the 911 listing.
Michael Emler was on hand to answer questions about providing urine and oral swab drug testing for the City of Leachville. Imler agreed to test on site, with an initial drug test then follow up with random testing monthly or quarterly.
"I can do it either way you want, five or six quarterly, or several per month," said Imler. "The urine testing is $20 each for current employees and new ones. After that it would run $25 each for random testing."
"With 41 employees, that would mean $821 initially," said Leachville Mayor Sheila Spurlock.
The council discussed the feasibility of doing the Psyche Medics Hair Sample testing, which yields a more diverse test results but is more expensive.
"I don't think the hair follicle test would be needed every time," said Johnson.
"It all depends on how much you want to know," said Crites.
"We are trying to establish a deterrent here," said Wheeler.
"If using drugs is deterred by 50 percent it is worth it," said Wilson.
The council voted to test for all pre-employment, work related incidents immediately, and random drug testing. The decision on which test is to be used was tabled until more information could be obtained.
In other business:
* A lengthy discussion of the Water Department check numbering system and the use of different check books. The council agreed to request Rebecca Clowers attend the May council meeting to explain the process used.
"There is no pattern for the account numbering, dealing with water and operation and maintenance accounts," said Wilson. "It would be easier for us if Ruth Ann (Keith) and Rebecca's operating systems were the same."
"I have questions about the three $8,000 payments made within a 20 day period," said alderman Stone.
"Rebecca is the only person who can answer this," said Wheeler.
"Rebecca will be here next month and we can table approval of the Water Department part of the financial statement until then," said Spurlock.
* Police Chief Crites reviewed his monthly police report and county jail fees. Crites also requested the purchase of two bulletproof vests for patrolmen Steve Lancaster and auxiliary policeman Richie Pace.
"We have $2,000 in a matching grant account to help purchase these vests on a 50/50 basis," said Crites. "They cost $600 each. We pay the $1,200 up front and get reimbursed $600 afterwards. This money wasn't used in 2004 when it was allocated, and we have until September 2008 to use it, for law enforcement officers. We are trying to make this a better place, and our men need protection."
The council approved the purchase of the two vests.
The council also voted to sell the 1992 police car, using sealed bids, with a minimum $500 bid. The proceeds of the sale go back into the Police Drug Control Fund.
Crites presented Carle Treadway with a performance promotion to the rank of Sergeant.
* Fire Chief Richie Pace presented the monthly Fire Department report, which consisted of total funds in the amount of $50,752.92.
* Police Chief Crites reviewed the cost and feasibility of purchasing commercial hand held weather alert systems. The hand held sets range in price from $25 to $27.50. After a lengthy discussion, no decision was made to purchase the units.
* Leachville currently has over 25 weather spotters, and no public storm shelter. The spotters have been very efficient during times of turbulent weather, and tornado sirens have been activated appropriately. Discussion was held on need for more sirens or larger ones.
* A citywide clean up is scheduled for May 29 - June 3. Local volunteers have committed to work with curbside pick up during clean-up week, donating trucks, time and services.
"We can't really enforce our yard clean-up effort unless we offer our people a way to get rid of their collections," said Mayor Spurlock.
"Properties with unsightly properties will need to be notified of this clean-up effort," said John Stone.
After citizens have been given time to clean their property, they will be cited for non-compliance if it is not done.
* Two new computers will be purchased for the Water Department and the city clerk, costing $1,718.50 each. The purchase will include set up, on site installation and a three-year warranty. Old computers will be kept for use in-house.
* The agreement between the Leachville Youth Association and the City of Leachville was tabled until the May council meeting.
* Alderman Wheeler requested the city look at the feasibility of putting a four-way stop at the corner of Corner Mart and Main to help alleviate speeding.
"It is a very dangerous spot," said Wheeler. "I am not willing to wait until someone dies to do something about it."
More information will be secured before decision is made.
* I want to commend our dog pick up crew for their work this month," said Chief Crites.
* Tree trimming was requested for Sixth and Lang Streets.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on Monday, May 14, beginning at 7 p.m.