by Kathy Crawford
Tracy's public safety department has a secret weapon. Sgt. Beth Taulbee has decided to do something about the department's lack of equipment, despite the city's lack of funds.
Taulbee was busy all month working on grants, Police Chief Frank Thurman said at last week's city council meeting. She was able to secure an equipment grant applied for in the fall that asks the city to pitch in 10 percent. However, she got local businesses to donate the city's 10 percent.
“We did get approved for the grant $3,800 plus the donations,” said Thurman. “We got enough to get the light bar and radio for the car.”
Thurman said that Taulbee also secured another grant, the MoDOT Blueprint Application Grant. This grant is for $1,560 and $150 for fuel.
“Beth got on the phone and they O.K.'d it,” said Thurman.
Thurman is doing his part, too. He asked the board for permission to speak to the director of public safety in Jefferson City about getting another police car. He said that with 159,000 miles on one vehicle, they are literally piecing cars together at this point. He also said he would like for the board to get two reserve officers because the current two are leaving.
In other business, the board is still scrambling to get a new water superintendent. The board was hopeful that Hans Newsome would accept a contract with Tracy to become the new superintendent, thereby putting the city in compliance with the Department of Natural Resources.
However, the city's attorney, Lisa Rehard, said she doesn't think he is interested in the position. Rehard advised the board to give the mayor authorization to enter into an agreement with either the emergency backup, Dave Goodlet, or another person who Newsome is recommending. The board approved Rehard's suggestion.
The city also accepted the only snow bid it received. Mayor Brenda Ferguson said that it was her understanding that it's so late in the season, everyone is booked. Doug Amos, who the city entered into the agreement with, agreed.
The cost caused concern among some board members. Amos will charge $200 for the first two hours of plowing and $75 per hour thereafter. A charge of $450 per application of salt and sand will also apply. However, Amos agreed to an on-call agreement, letting the board decide when to use him.
“I'm not here to rip you off,” Amos said.
The board is still playing beat the clock with the 2005 and 2006 audits. Ferguson said she fears that if the audits are not done by the end of the year, the state may do them and charge the city for it. Treasurer Jennifer Yeager was not present at last week's meeting to answer questions from board members or to sign a resolution that the board passed regarding the treasury and bank business.
In other business, the board nominated and elected Rita Rhoads to be the president of the board until the spring election. The board members agreed that each spring, following the municipal election, a new president can be nominated and elected.
Rehard also passed out some guidelines to board members regarding the closure of meetings and said she wanted to discuss them at the January meeting.