Council approves $17, 350 for narcotics detecting dog
by Chris Norwood
Feb 03, 2014 | 1274 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Talladega City Council voted unanimously Monday evening to approve a contract with Von Liche Kennels of Denver, Indiana for a cost of $17,350 for a dual purpose, narcotics detecting dog. That price includes “health and comparability warranties, as well as the applicable training course for the K-9 officer (and) boarding for the officer for the duration of the six week training course.

The new dog will be a German shepherd deemed most compatible with the selected officer, according to City Manager Brian Muenger.

He went on to say that the city, which began seeking donations to relaunch the K-9 program last year, had received some $6,290 from organizations such as the Talladega Rotary Club and other donors. Muenger said Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore had pledged $5,000 for the program in exchange for a mutual aid agreement, and the city of Lincoln has provided an SUV insert to outfit the K-9 vehicle as required.

The city’s share comes to about $6,000 Muenger said.

Although the dog’s health is guaranteed, the city will have to have it checked out by a local vet before the training begins.

The next available training classes begin March 30.

During the same meeting, the council also formally approved a $2,000 check to be sent to the Talladega City Board of Education to allow them to launch a national search for a new superintendent, following the retirement of Doug Campbell at the end of this year.

Similar amounts have also been sent by the First National Bank and Citizens Baptist Medical Center.

Muenger said the check and the letter had been delivered to the school board Monday, and that the board had not had an opportunity to reply when the meeting started.

Councilman Horace Patterson said the donations “demonstrated community support and involvement. (Michael) O’Brien and Ray Miller and I served on the board of education at one time, and I think we did a better job marketing our system back then. I hope we can see that return…We need dynamic leadership to help to galvanize this community.”

Council President Donnie Miller added “I know we won’t see the changes over night, but they (the board) need to have a plan and follow through with it.”

Muenger said the band and the hospital had first approached the city with the idea of stepping up to a nation search conducted by the Alabama Association of School Boards for a total of $12,000.

The board had previously approved a state-wide search for $6,000. The new, wider search price also includes a public, community meeting on the search criteria.

Board chairwoman Shirley Simmons-Sims called a work session after the donation was announced last week, and said she did not want the board announcing any changes to their approved policy without further discussion. The board was unable to establish a quorum due to inclement weather.

The board will hold a work session, presumably to discuss the new proposals, Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the central office.

Also Monday, the board:

O Spent about 30 minutes in executive session discussing potential or pending litigation with O’Brien. No action was taken.

O Saw Patterson pass the president’s gavel to Miller. Councilman Ricky Simpson was elected president pro tempore.

O Appointed Tony Haywood and Jason Upchurch to the TOP Trails Board.

O Heard an update on the Veteran’s Park project, which continued to hampered by bad weather.

O Approved a resolution honoring Harold Franklin on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his historic enrollment at Auburn University.

o Approved an extension of the contract with the Fowler Group to handle payroll for city employees ($750 per month) and water employees ($450 per month). Fowler Group bought Camp and Associates.

O Passed resolutions supporting state-wide legislation in support of bills that would further regulate payday loans and title pawns. A moratorium on these type of establishments in the city limits was also extended an additional six months.

O Agreed to transfer the Oak Hill Cemetery Perpetual Trust from Regions Bank to Raymond James, which offers lower management fees.

O Approved workers compensation policies for city and water employees.

O Waived the business license fee and the open container ordinance, closed streets and appropriated $5,000 to Antique Talladega for April in Talladega.

O Opened Muenger’s evaluations, where he scored 140 out of a possible 150 points.

O Commended city employees for their handling of the recent snow storms.