Lepanto Council discusses state police equipment and cleaning property

Saturday, February 23, 2013

At Lepanto's regular city council meeting this month, the council discussed an expenditure for state police vehicles and heard from a resident regarding letters sent out to people whose property is in need of clean up.

Mayor Steve Jernigan told the council the state police asked cities to pay for the installation of lights on state trooper patrol cars in November. "I'm not comfortable approving city money for the state police without council approval," Jernigan said.

City Attorney Noyl Houston said the city cannot make a purchase for another government agency unless it gets something of comparable value, even if other cities have agreed to. The council moved to not pay for the equipment until they find out more information about it.

The council also heard from Larry Brewer regarding letters sent by the mayor to property owners requesting they clean up their property. There was some question over whether these requests were being pursued properly.

Among the questions about the matter, Alderman Cindy Thompson asked why the police were not handling the situation as is detailed in Ordinance 298. Mayor Jernigan said the police department's number one priority is drugs. "I'm working with individual property owners. If push comes to shove, then I'll get the police involved," Jernigan said.

Houston said he had looked over the letters and believed taking a polite approach before initiating court action seemed appropriate. "I think there's a bit of a learning process," Houston said. "I think these letters show there's an effort being made. There is a follow-up procedure once we realize the nice approach is not working."

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