• 70°

City approves police cars

During various occasions in the recent past, there has been some conversation about the Andalusia Police Department instituting the "Take Home Car" program which would allow officers to drive their cars home with them.

This in turn might promote a greater police presence in communities and cut down on maintenance costs.

The City of Andalusia took a possible first step toward participation in the program in its regular council session Tuesday night, as the council approved the purchase of three new patrol cars and five reconditioned patrol cars for the police department.

"(Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams Jr.) will put these cars into the fleet and then one more year of (the car purchase program) will hopefully get us in the Take Home Car program, which should hopefully reduce our maintenance costs substantially and to an insignificant amount," said Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson. "We have already spent our budget this year on maintenance. I would rather spend that $35,000 on a new car then on fixing transmissions and things like that."

He said he hopes the city can attract a bid in the range of $127,000 for the eight cars to be purchased.

Councilman Michael Jones noted that he has had the opportunity to discuss the Take Home Car programs with cities currently using it, and said he has always heard very positive comments about it.

"A lot of our adjoining communities, especially those our size, including Troy, Greenville, Enterprise and Evergreen, have the Take Home Car program," said Johnson. "It shows a police presence in the neighborhoods and it stops this business of putting a brand new car on the road 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and then you start this high maintenance cost. It's a good program and every mayor I've talked to recommends it highly."

In other business discussed at Tuesday's regular meeting, the Andalusia City Council:

Awarded a bid for the telephone system at the new city hall building to IDEACOM from Daphne for $25,743. The bid was $10,000 below the next lowest bid.

Declared nuisance abatements for parcels on North Cotton Street and Henderson Street.

Approved Johnson and City Clerk Pam Steele to execute loan documents to complete an irrigation project at the Evans Barnes Golf Course.

Authorized Johnson to execute a contract with Business Interiors for new auditorium seats for Andalusia's new city hall building.

Approved appropriating $3,560 from contingency funds to purchase a new computer and software for the Andalusia Fire Department.

Approved an appropriation of

$2,045 from contingency funds for the resurfacing of the driveway and parking lot at the Montezuma facility.

Approved the re appointments of Randy Wall and Billy Joe Stallworth to the city's recreation board.

Awarded a bid for a Live Scan fingerprint identification system for the Andalusia Police System to Cross Match of Palm Beach Garden, Fla. The low bid from Cross Match was for $32,327. The system will be purchased as part of a recent grant the police department received.

Approved appropriating $3,000 from its contingency fund for a project at Service Zone.

Awarded a bid for street widening on Prestwood Bridge Road to APAC Southeast Inc. The bid was for $105,708.36

Approved the purchase of a full color advertisement in a City of Andalusia/Covington County map to be published by Village Profile. The city will spend $695 on the ad.

Recognized Raven Leigh Anne Carr of Andalusia High School, Christa Marie Davila from Straughn School and Courtney Lynn Whitman of Opp High School for their participation in the People to People program, established by Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.

Approved the minutes from the May 6 meeting.