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Council OKs mutual aid agreement

The Demopolis City Council unanimously approved for the city to take part in a mutual aid agreement with other area cities and counties.

That decision was made at the council’s meeting on Thursday.

The agreement had been the topic of discussion for the council for more than three years. The main sticking point was the question of liability for the city, and asked city attorney Richard S. Manley to research that.

“This is the broadest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Manley told the council. “There are exemptions for anything and everything that could happen during an emergency, so there’s not anything under this that would be in conflict with state law.”

Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department chief Ronnie Few told the council that mutual aid agreements across the country were not binding, but offered assistance to an emergency situation when needed. He and Demopolis Police Department chief Tommie Reese both favored entering into the agreement.

Other actions taken at the Demopolis City Council meeting included:

The council approved 6-0 having Alabama Power Company install a street light at the east entrance to Wal-Mart at U.S. Highway 80.

The council approved 6-0 a resolution allowing police chief Tommie Reese control over outside employment of department employees.

The council approved 6-0 for the city to apply for grants on behalf of the Demopolis Police Department. Among the grants that DPD chief Tommie Reese recommended were Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants that would provide 100-percent funding for police officers for three years. Reese said he would like to add seven officers to the department.

The council approved 6-0 a resolution adopting a procurement methods policy for the city. The policy was recommended by city auditors.

The council approved 5-0 with one abstention a restaurant retail liquor license transfer for El Ranchero Loco restaurant. Council member Mitchell Congress abstained.

The council approved 4-2 for the cemetery board to continue to have control over the grass maintenance of the city’s cemeteries, rather than have the city take charge. Council members Melvin Yelverton and Mitchell Congress voted against.

The council voted 6-0 to change its April meeting dates to April 9 and 23, rather than the original April 2 and 16 meeting dates. The time for the April 23 meeting is expected to change, and will be determined at the April 9 meeting.