Audio issues continued to plague the live Facebook stream of the Rainelle Town Council’s regular meeting on Monday, January 10. However, it was a short meeting and most of it could be understood to those listening in.
During the meeting, Rainelle Police Chief JP Stevens stated that the police department is in need of new police cruisers due to the age and unsafe conditions of the current vehicles.
“We discovered there were a lot of recalls done on the cruisers we’ve got now,” Stevens stated. “For the last two and a half years, there was nothing done on them.”
He added that the current vehicles were purchased years ago using grant funding. He said that the council should look into grants or use recently required federal funding to support the purchase of new cruisers.
Rainelle Mayor Robin Williams responded that one cruiser is scheduled to have recall work completed on it next week, and that another cruiser will have the work completed the following week.
“I think there are some grants out there is what I am told, so we need to look at that,” Williams said, adding that she must speak with officials to determine if federal funding could be used to purchase a police vehicle.
Councilmember Jimmy Matheney noted that the police department is in need of at least one all-wheel-drive vehicle should the council vote to purchase new vehicles.
“We need to do something before it starts getting really bad, or we are really going to have people complaining on us,” Stevens said.
“It puts us in jeopardy if we fail to respond to a first incident that might wreak havoc for us. You have to look at it from that standpoint…our job is to take care of the people around here and there’s been failure to do so,” Stevens later said. “I am a straightforward person, so, if I’ve overstepped my boundaries I’m sorry about that, but I swore to uphold the oath and to take care of the people in this town and that’s what I’m trying to do. So, it’s up to the council and back to the mayor to put it back on the table.”
Williams stated that no vote could be held on the matter until it is placed on the agenda. She said it would be on the next agenda for council’s discussion.
Matheney stated that information, including quotes, should be gathered by those with the police department in the meantime, so that council is prepared to take a vote as soon as possible.
In other Rainelle business,
– Williams stated that a man from the state of Georgia has purchased the Alder Mobile Home Park on Ohio Avenue. She said that the purchaser will be in Rainelle to meet with officials soon.
“Hopefully by the next meeting we will have met with them and have a better idea of what their plans are,” Williams said.
“I know they have electrical problems down there and, to the best of my knowledge, none of it’s been fixed,” responded Recorder Eddie Midkiff. “I am concerned with what’s going on in the park.”
“They need to address this problem,” he continued, noting that the new owner has contacted a local electrician to complete repair work. “The guy’s not gonna do work without any money. That’s just the way it is. They haven’t got together with money and he can’t get everything he needs to do the work anyway, so we’ll see what happens. If you look out the door one day and see a blaze of glory going on, you will understand.”
“Hopefully, we will have a better report when we meet again,” Williams concluded;
– Bids will be open soon for contractors so work can get started on the storm water drainage project. The project is estimated to take two years to complete.
Rainelle Town Council meetings are currently closed to the public due to the ongoing pandemic. Meetings are being streamed somewhat successfully on the Town of Rainelle’s Facebook page.