Verona aldermen approved the purchase of narrowband radios for fire-fighters at the regular August meeting. The new equipment will bring the city's department into compliance with the federally mandated narrow band frequency requirements, which are set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2013. Total cost of the equipment is estimated to be $4,000.
Aldermen also approved the purchase of uniform shirts and pants for firefighters at a cost of $140 per person.
Verona Fire Chief Tony Hinkle reported progress on moving dispatch services to the City of Monett. Hinkle said Monett officials gave approval for the move and once equipment has been installed in Monett's 911 Communica-tions Center the change over would be complete.
Hinkle also reported picking up a 1986 Chevrolet flatbed truck that the department will convert into a brush truck. Cost of the conversion is estimated to be $700.
In new business, Officer Jeff Cooper reported offered proposed revisions to the department's employee handbook concerning recording custodial interrogations, forwarding intoxication-related offenses to the state, manda-tory wearing of body armor, personal property on city property and sick days.
The proposed changes are part of an updated document outlining stan-dard operating procedures for officers and necessary in order for the department to be in compliance with eligibility criteria to apply for a Local Law Enforce-ment Block Grant (LLEBG).
Aldermen approved the recommended changes to the employee handbook.
Cooper also presented an application for an LLEBG grant to obtain equipment for the department, which would require a $990 match from the city.
Cooper also presented a Memo of Understanding to the council for approval outlining an agreement with the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force (SWMDTF). The agreement includes protocols for SWDTF members assisting with driving while intoxicated checkpoints in the city and for Verona officers assisting with checkpoints in other locations.
Aldermen approved the agreement.
Cooper provided estimates on four different cages for the Dodge Charger patrol vehicle used by the department.
Aldermen approved the $430 expenditure to purchase the equipment. Council members also approved the purchase of new tires for the vehicle.
Aldermen approved a request by Mayor Willis Hutson for the purchase of cold mix for street repairs. Hutson said Rick Wright, maintenance department, could start on street repairs.
Council members instructed Julie Ruscha, city clerk, to submit costs for property maintenance and clean up of properties in the city to the Lawrence County Collector to be added into a special tax bill.
Hutson reported Bert Bond, from Clean Stream, was working to obtain bids to repair two large sewer line problems.
Bond also reported the return pumps at the treatment plant had to be pulled twice this month due to the collection of debris and rocks.
John Cowen, building code enforcement, reported properties at 605 N. Third St. and 615 N. Third St. were inspected and recommended action be taken. Cowen said the property at 605 N. Third St. should be boarded up with plywood and a dangerous trailer on the property at 615 N. Third St. be demolished.
Ruscha said the property at 605 N. Third St. had been sold at the county auction and the city would be receiving reimbursement in the amount of $1,478 for clean-up costs. Ruscha said the second property had also been sold at auction but the new owner could not take possession at this time. The city's prosecuting attorney recommended posting 'no trespassing' signs on the properties and sending a letter to the owners of record.
In personnel issues, aldermen approved naming Cooper to the position of captain with the Verona Police Department. With the title comes a $2 per hour increase to $12 per hour.
Wright was also given a $2 per hour increase for his duties with the maintenance department, to total $11 per hour.
Hinkle received a $100 per month increase in wages for a total of $200 per month.
An application from Aldo Porras to join the volunteer fire department was approved by aldermen.