Wesson aldermen acted to add two new police officers to the staff of the Wesson police department during the board’s regular monthly meeting.
Upon advisement of acting police chief Chad Sills, the board voted 5-0 to add officers Arthur Harris and David Drum to the part-time roster. Both officers, according to Sills, are full-time certified and will plug holes left by the departure of full-time chief Chad O’Quinn to active duty in Afghanistan and by two part-time officers–one of whom is on leave of absence, while the other is out of town on business for his regular job much of the time.
Sills advised that with the addition of the two part-time officers, he will be able to complete the work schedule in a more timely manner and will have more officers available to work the night shift. Additionally, special events, such as Founders Day and the WVFD Flea Market will have more officers present.
Both Harris and Drum will start immediately.
MINOR CHANGES TO PERSONNEL POLICY
The board voted 5-0 to change the minimum education requirements on job descriptions to a high school diploma or GED equivalent, after Mayor Alton Shaw pointed out the current policy lacked such wording.
“This gets us in line with everyone else,” Shaw said.
GARBAGE BINS NO LONGER ALLOWED
Property owners who have placed permanently affixed garbage collection bins on town rights-of-way will have 60 days to remove the structures after action taken by the board on Tuesday. After 60 days, those that are not removed by the property owners will be picked up by the town’s public works department and discarded.
“This is a move in the right direction,” said alderman Bobby Britt, referring to improving the curb appeal of the town.
Mayor Shaw explained that the next step may be to require residents of Wesson to use secured, portable garbage receptacles to keep animals out of the trash and keep the garbage out of sight.
TOWN TO APPLY FOR FURNITURE STORE GRANT
Wesson aldermen approved a resolution to apply for a Small Municipalities and Limited Population grant of $100,000 to go towards the purchase of the old Wesson Furniture Store building. In the resolution, a match of 10% was included to cover legal wording of the document. The resolution allows the mayor to proceed with completing the formal application by the deadline of August 31.
Shaw said that he hopes the building will be converted to a community center and small museum after a major upgrade to the inside and outside of the structure.
On a related matter, the town will know more about the awarding of federal highway dollars for the brick sidewalk project sometime in November or December, Shaw advised.
At the request of private property owner Perry May, the board voted to close a portion of 17th Street West of Highway 51. May plans to build a single family residence on his property in the area, and the adjacent landowners had signed off on his proposal. Closing the partial street allows for May to proceed with his plans.
Three private properties in Wesson are slated for Public Health and Safety hearings after the board voted to proceed with further action on the dilapidated properties. On July 1, a new state law took effect that holds owners of such properties that have to cleaned up by towns and cities personally responsible through taxation channels.
The board approved minutes and claims from July and heard a glowing report from Wesson librarian Susan Alsbury before recessing until Tuesday, September 1 at 6:00 p.m.