By TIM FRANZEN
UNADILLA — Ernest Dennard was approved to serve as Interim Police Chief following executive session at the regular City Council meeting here Tuesday night.
Officials have decided to wait until after the election, November 6, to decide on a permanent replacement. The new replacement will be expected to fill the post left vacant following Leonard Smith’s conviction by a Dooly County Superior Court Jury.
Smith’s received his conviction on Friday, Aug. 3 for three felony counts of making false statements and writings. He was sentenced to five years in prison plus an additional 10 years on probation.
He was accused of submitting time cards and receiving payment for police work during the same hours, both with the Unadilla and Fort Valley Police Departments.
In a related matter, officials have decided to advertise for a part-time police officer. They will possibly approve a candidate for the job by the next Council meeting on September 11.
Councilmen also have agreed to adhere to a policy outlined in the Unadilla City Council’s charter concerning vacation and sick leave.
In the past, city employees were compensated for vacation time not used, but the decision reached Tuesday night indicated this will not be allowed in the future.
Brand also informed Council members that a Community Development Block Grant with matching funds of $150,000 will go towards improvements on the Tybee project.
Included in the funding will be 93 state-of-the-art water meters. Homes in that area are either being demolished or, in some cases, refurbished depending on their condition.
He also reported that the Comfort Inn sewage improvements are all but complete. Before the work can be finished electricity must be outfitted to the pump station.
Georgia Power furnished electricity to the inn. The total cost of the sewage improvements came to $29,000.
In other news from the meeting:
• The Regional Development Center plans to assist with the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program.
• City Clerk Gail Reid reminded the Council and citizens in attendance that there are only two more days, today and Friday, to qualify for the Mayor’s post and three council seats. Anyone interested needs to drop by City Hall between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
She also said that the last day to register to vote in the General Election for November 6 is October 9. Residents can pick up registration forms at City Hall.
• Newly appointed Interim Police Chief Ernest Dennard reported that citizens are still calling the old emergency number for police assistance instead of 911. He urged citizens to use the 911 number for faster emergency response.
He also said that City officials are working with Georgia Power to replace street lights and pressed citizens to notify the Unadilla Police Department or City Hall in the event they notice any lights that are out or damaged.
• Councilmen Greg Speight announced that the Downtown Development Authority will be meeting today at 5 p.m. One of the items on the agenda will be consideration for a property rental downtown.
• Council members are currently accepting bids for CPA. A decision might be made at the next regularly scheduled meeting on September 11.
• City Administrator Ronnie Brand spoke to the Council about annexing a one acre tract of land near Wally’s World, a motorcycle shop near Angel City.
Officials have approved moving ahead with the process of annexing and rezoning the property as a general business.
By TIM FRANZEN
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