The Elba City Council met Thursday night, Nov. 14, for its regular meeting, which had been postponed from Monday, Nov. 11, due to the Veterans Day holiday. Mayor Pro Tem Jane Brunson presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Mickey Murdock. Elba Police Chief Leslie Hussey was unable to be at the Thursday night meeting, therefore, his second-in-command Lt. Russ Young provided an update to the council from the police department. Young said it had pretty much been routine business for the department the past few weeks and that no major cases had come up. He did note the new CAD [Computer Aided Dispatch] System for the department should be at least partially installed before the end of November. Council member Rolanda Jones asked Young about the staff for the department, wondering where it was with working to be fully staffed. Young said the department would be sending two persons to the police academy this month, and with them, there would be 14 police officers staffed along with eight full-time dispatchers and one part-time dispatcher. He said that would basically get the department staffed with as many persons as allowed by the city. Another question from the council was how long the officers are committed to the department when Elba pays for them to go to the police academy, and Young said they are required to stay with Elba for at least two years. He said if they leave prior to the two years being fulfilled, the agency the officer leaves to go to has to repay Elba for the costs of the academy. Young did add to his report that the department had been working to assist a homeless person whom had asked for help finding shelter. He said the person actually asked to go to jail to get shelter thinking he had outstanding warrants for his arrest pending. However, he did not have any warrants. Young said the department had contacted Minister Philip Box with the Elba Ministerial Alliance in hopes of helping this person get the shelter he was seeking to get out of the cold weather. Assistant City Clerk Pat Boothe said the new garbage truck for the City of Elba should arrive for use within the next 3-4 weeks, hopefully by mid-December. She said officials were excited to receive this news as the current garbage truck had been experiencing more and more trouble recently. Boothe reported that Elba Library director Jennifer Amlong was excited with the recent “Haunted Library” event held in conjunction with Pumpkins on the Square. She said Amlong estimated about 300 people came through the Haunted Library on Halloween night, which was a great turnout for a first-time event. Boothe said everyone was really pleased with how the event turned out, and Amlong already was receiving requests from people to be involved with next year’s Haunted Library event for Halloween. Boothe announced that the city had received two small grants from the Wiregrass RC&D [Resource Conservation & Development] Council. She said a $2,000 grant was awarded to partially assist with an irrigation project at Hawkins-Williams Park, and a $2,000 grant was awarded for a SKID unit for the fire department to be mounted to the back of the fire department’s UTV to assist with fires and rescues. Also, Boothe said the recreation department’s summer food program has been awarded an extra $3,300 for its good promotion of nutritional foods and health eating. After reviewing the monthly bills, the council voted to approve the paying of the bills totaling $199,966.30. Also, the council voted to consider an ordinance to adopt the International Building Code, 2009 Edition. Code enforcement officer Bryson Dear explained this was basically a ‘house-keeping’ matter to make sure the city’s enforcement codes were uniform and consistent on record. After a brief discussion, the council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance. The council will conduct a workshop Thursday evening, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. at city hall, and the next regular meeting will be Monday evening, Nov. 25, at 5:30 p.m. Both the workshop and meeting are open to the public.

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