Pikeville looks at PD, but will keep fireworks
By Laura Collins
Published in News on May 4, 2010 1:46 PM
The Pikeville Board of Commissioners weighed the importance of the Pikeville Police Department and fireworks at Monday night's meeting.
After reviewing the upcoming police department schedule, Commissioner Dennis Lewis said he wanted to clear something up.
"If you heard that the board is thinking about doing away with the police department, that's completely false," he said.
But Commissioner Vance Greeson didn't want to rule anything out with a new budget beginning July 1.
"A small town police department is a big expense for the amount of responsibility," Greeson said. "There's nothing wrong with consolidating law enforcement. It's a possibility we need to think of ... It can't be business as usual. With budgets coming up, it's something we really have to look at."
Lewis then agreed with Greeson.
"This is a B.B. King budget, 'The Thrill is Gone.' I don't think anything is off the table expense-wise," he said.
Pikeville resident Jerry Bailey raised the question about other law enforcement agencies responding to Pikeville.
"We're paying a county tax," he said. "Why don't we look at the Sheriff's Department? We're paying part-time officers here. Why can't the Sheriff's Department pick up that slack?"
But resident Jodie Waddell said he and his neighbor have had experience with Pikeville police responding much faster, even when they are off-duty, than surrounding law enforcement agencies.
Mayor Johnny Weaver said Commissioner Todd Anderson will be in contact with the police chief about questions and concerns raised at the meeting.
Immediately following the discussion about possible police department cuts due to budget issues, the board approved in a 4-0 vote to spend $3,000 on fireworks for their Fourth of July celebration.
Lewis did not vote on the issue because of a conflict of interest since he is the one doing the fireworks show, which he said he gives the town a "$5,000 show for $3,000."
Commissioners Ward Kellum, Lymon Galloway and Greeson voted in favor of spending the money on fireworks.
"I would love to say no, but that is kind of a God and country thing," Kellum said about having fireworks at the town's Fourth celebration.
Anderson left the meeting early, which is an automatic yes vote since he didn't excuse himself from any remaining votes during the meeting before he left. The topic of fireworks was not on the original meeting agenda, but Weaver said commissioners were made aware that fireworks would be discussed.
Also at the meeting, the board approved hiring Jodie Waddell to shoot grading and elevation in the Collingwood area for $2,000. He will be grading every driveway and drain tile and shooting elevation in the area to pinpoint the cause of flooding problems and how they can be corrected.
"People I've talked to said if it rains for an hour they've got water 10 feet from their house," Waddell said.
He added that the area was basically built on a swamp, so there is no drainage in certain areas of Collingwood.
The commissioners voted 4-1 to hire Waddell, with Galloway voting against it.
"We got other subdivisions in town that has water problems, maybe worse than this," he said. "I don't want to keep pouring money in one spot and other parts of town are floating on water."
He added that the board has a responsibility to represent the entire town.
The board also voted to approve the $15,000 bid for the old library. Initially only Lewis and Anderson voted to accept the bid. Other commissioners were hoping for a higher bid.
"I've always been told any item is worth what it brings when the hammer falls," Lewis said.
Anderson brought up the fact that the bid for the BB&T building was $10,000.
"I don't understand the hold out," Weaver said. "We don't have a lot of people that want it."
Galloway ended up voting in favor of accepting the bid because there were no guarantees there would be a better bid if it was put up for auction again.