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Dyer mayor says complaints about police should go to police department

By Cara Zarecor

At the onset of Dyer’s city board meeting held on Monday evening, April 22, Mayor Chris Younger confirmed with the aldermen that a special meeting had been slated for Thursday, May 2. Younger said that this meeting will be lengthy, will consist of several committee meetings, and its primary purpose is preparedness for issues that the city will face in the coming months.

In the mayor’s report, Younger cited that he had recently received several complaints on the police department. He said it is not the city’s job nor the board’s to tell the police how to do their jobs; they come knowing how to do their jobs and the board’s position in regard to the police department is to make policy.

Younger declared that any citizen who has a complaint about the police department should go directly to the department and fill out a complaint form. From there, the chief of police will address all concerns and if needed he will consult the mayor, and the mayor will then consult the board.

Younger also reported that Integrated found the interference problem with the fire department’s radio system. Fire Chief Ryan Shanklin explained later in the meeting that the company had discovered the damage was due to a lightning strike and improper grounding. The city will incur a short-term expense of $12,575 for the repairs since insurance will reimburse.

Assistant Chief of Police Rodney Wilkins relayed news that the Ford Explorer that the city is purchasing for the department can be expected in two weeks or less. The department looks to have the vehicle equipped and striped prior to the end of May.

City Recorder Nathan Reed reported that, as of the end of March, 92.5% of property tax and nearly 77% of local option sales tax had been collected. He said that just over 1,100 city stickers had been sold to date. Reed also cited that TVA payments in lieu of tax are $200 higher than anticipated. Additionally, he said that his office is working on a draft budget and is currently awaiting a public works submission, some information from the police department and assessment data from the property assessor before the draft can be completed.

Public Works officer Randy Gregory reported that a main valve was leaking at the water plant, causing inaccurate readings after meter calibration. Gregory said that a new valve would be needed, in addition to gasket flange packs, and the total cost would be around $1,200. A motion was carried in favor of funding the repair.

A discussion was revisited regarding parks and flagpole lighting. The board is concerned that dollars are being wasted when various lights are on unnecessarily. Reed assured the board that more efforts have been made to control light operation during canceled games, etc. via an internet application. More information will be collected about controlling automatic lighting in the city.

Alderman Fred Ivie brought to light the need for maintenance to the basketball court. Weeds are growing through cracks in the court. Options of killing the weeds or resealing the court were discussed, but a definite decision was not reached on the matter.

Dyer owns several properties and Younger said that a list needs to be made of them. Some of the properties need to be torn down, but others will need to be sold either by putting up for sale signs or holding an auction. Further discussion will continue during the upcoming committee meetings.

Several locations on city streets will soon receive asphalt repair after a motion was passed to approve a bid to repair a total of 85.1 square yards at a cost of $5,106.

During the new business discussion, Alderman Bob Moore said that the police department is in need of new cell phones for officers. Moore explained that the flip phones that are currently provided are not capable of apps that officers need to input important data. Reed said that his office is looking into various plans and options.

Younger took a moment to express his thanks to Christian Graceful Connections, a cumulative group of churches, who recently hosted a fun and successful event in the park. Everyone present agreed and also expressed their gratitude.

Alderman Michael Barron said that a fire truck had recently run over a manhole cover and broke it and that the city’s inventory of replacement covers is depleted. Gregory said that he would order more.

After a brief discussion of existing accounts, the meeting was adjourned.

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