New rifles ordered for West Jeff police

(Posted Aug. 19, 2014)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

West Jefferson police officers will soon have their own rifles, replacing ones borrowed from Homeland Security.

On Aug. 18, village council voted to purchase 11 rifles for $13,662 through Vance’s Law Enforcement. Jefferson Industries donated $12,500 to cover most of the cost. The remaining $1,162 comes from the police department budget.

Chief Terry Ward said the rifles “are basically the same gun” officers have been using on loan from Homeland Security. With the purchase of their own guns, the department can return the borrowed rifles.

Donation to Ox Roast

Council voted to donate $3,540 to the West Jefferson Community Association for this year’s Ox Roast that will be held Labor Day weekend. The money will be used to pay for the special duty security that police officers provide during the festival. Officers are paid $30 an hour for the 118 hours of service.

Councilman Ray Martin abstained from voting since he serves as a trustee for the Community Association.

Utility bill payments

Council amended a 2005 ordinance concerning the payment of water, sewer and sanitation service bills.

The cost of replacing meters damaged by residents and the cost of bulk water purchases are new to the ordinance. Contractors are the main purchasers of water in large quantities. They will pay a $250 deposit prior to pumping water from the water plant.

Public Service Director Dave Metzger said the ordinance puts teeth into the current policy. The new guidelines will be posted at the Water Department.

Update on Galbreath Hall

Bids to demolish Galbreath Hall will be opened Aug. 27. The bids are part of council’s information gathering process to determine what to do about the deteriorating building.

Council President Ron Garver is planning to hold a finance committee meeting after the bids are opened. Jim King said he will hold a parks and recreation committee meeting prior to council’s next regular meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 2, one day later than normal due to the Labor Day holiday.

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