Valley Police Department not sure when new police vehicles will be in

Published 9:00 am Thursday, March 12, 2020

VALLEY — The City of Valley paid more than expected for three new police vehicles and now they are taking longer to get here than expected. In their Jan. 28 meeting, the Valley City Council unanimously approved the purchase of three 2020 police package four-door vehicles from King Ford at a price of $96,935.44, or $32,311.88 per vehicle. The city replaces police cars on a regular cycle. The last time similar SUVs were purchased they were in the $28,000 range. They have gone up some $4,300 per vehicle since then.

“We still don’t know when they will be coming,” Police Chief Tommy Weldon told the council Monday evening.

Weldon reminded Valley residents that VPD is a participant in the Project Lifesaver program.

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“We are trying to stay on top of this,” he said. “We have three residents who are wearing bracelets. If you know of anyone who could be helped by this, tell us and we will see what can be done.”

Founded in Virginia in 1998, Project Lifesaver International offers a program that can quickly locate persons who have wandered away from home. People with such conditions as dementia, Down syndrome, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and similar conditions can be located quickly should they wander away from home. The program involves attaching a radio transmitter device to the wrist or ankle of persons who are at-risk of wandering. The transmitter puts out an inaudible pulse that can be picked up by a receiver operated by public safety officers. In most instances, a person who has wandered off and who has a Project Lifesaver wristband can be located within 30 minutes.

Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount told the council that registration for girls softball had been especially good this year.

“We still need some girls in the 12 & under division,” she said. “We have enough for two teams in the, 7 & 8, 9 & 10 and 12 & older teams. We had a really good turnout this year.”

Blount reminded city residents that Valley Clean Up Week will be the first week of April. She said that the Bobby Crowder Room inside Valley Community Center was looking good.

“We got rid of that yucky-looking carpet and have wooden floors,” Blount said. “It looks really good right now.”

Public Works Director Patrick Bolt reported to the council that some recent fair weather days had allowed his department to catch up on needed work such as putting in a new pipe on 53rd Street, doing some road leveling on Gibson Street and patching some potholes on 55th Street, on Fob James Drive and in front of Burger King on Highway 29.

Bolt said that two new pieces of equipment, a boom axe and a bat wing, had arrived and that they would be of big help during grass growing season.

Planning & Development Director Travis Carter said that 2020 Census cards will soon be arriving in the mail and that everyone should respond to them.

“Be sure to fill them out and return them,” he said. “We need to have the most complete count we have ever had this year.”

Mayor Leonard Riley said that the city had completed all its capital purchasing for the current fiscal year. Everything is in except the three new police vehicles.

He said that the racquetball court, the Bobby Crowder Room and the Gray/Hood Room had undergone work and had brand-new looks to them.

Chambers County Development Authority Executive Director Valerie Gray discussed the newly released CCDA 2019 annual report. She said that the continual progress being made in Chambers County could not be taking place without the input of the citizens. “The people I have worked with this year and for the past 22 years have made monumental impacts to our county,” she said. “Thank you for having faith and confidence in me and the CCDA. Thank you for allowing us at the CCDA to work hard to make your community better.”

Existing companies in Chambers County created a combined total of 333 jobs in 2019.

Just under $85 million in investments were made in Chambers County in 2019.

Mayor Riley said the city’s sales tax collections had been way up for the past two years.

“That’s great. We don’t mind taking some credit for that,” Gray said jokingly, adding “Chambers County is a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

Council Member Jim Clark thanked Valley Police Department for their quick response to incidents in his district, and Travis Carter for handing some recent situations in District One. Council Member Cassie Carlisle thanked Public Works for work recently done on Gibson Street and noted that potholes need to be filled on Columbus Road.

“Columbus Road will be taken care of soon,” said the mayor. “It’s on our paving list.”

Council Member Henry Cooper thanked Patrick Bolt and the men of Public Works on having done some work in his district. He also thanked Carter on recently having talked to children at a local Head Start center about recycling and how important it is.

Council Member Jimmy Gilson said there are some dangerous situations taking place when people are cutting trees on private property but close to city streets.

“Before this is done, the city needs to be notified,” he said, “The city needs to know if there’s a situation where a city street could be blocked.”