City beefs up council meeting security

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The shooting that occurred at a Bay County (Fla.) school board meeting last week has led Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams to assign a uniformed sergeant to attend local city council meetings.

Will-iams, who rarely misses a council meeting himself, told council members last night that Sgt. Jason Curry has been assigned to provide additional security for their meetings.

Williams said some concern was expressed locally after a gunman showed up at the Bay County school board meeting and shot at the superintendent and each board member before being shot and eventually taking his own life.

“We are doing this out of an abundance of caution,” Williams said.

He also encouraged council members to let him know about potential problems.

“These things don’t happen all of a sudden,” he said. “Usually, they fester.”

The council also:

• agreed to establish a $2 million line of credit at CCB Community Bank. The credit line will be used in the management of ongoing road projects that require the city to pay contractors and provide cancelled checks before being reimbursed by state and federal agencies. The terms require the note to be “paid off” for at least 30 days each year.

• approved first quarter funding for outside agencies, including the American Red Cross, Andalusia Chamber of Commerce, Andalusia Kiwanis Foundation, Covington Area Transit System, Covington County Economic Development Commission, Covington County Emergency Management System, Covington County Health Department, Covington County Soil and Water Conservation, Covington Historical Society, Impact of Covington County, LBW College, Organized Community Action, and South Central Mental Health.

Council members asked to receive information about how the funding is used by each agency.

• approved the transfer of a retail beer license for Food Giants Supermarkets (Cost Plus).

• Reappointed Ashton Wells to the city Utilities Board.

• Approved the state’s planned resurfacing of the West Bypass and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Expressway beginning in the spring.

• Renewed a contract with the county to accept stray animals at the city’s animal shelter. The county will pay $10,000 per year.