• 75°

Health checks in works for future city employees

Health checks for prospective employees, sign vandalism concernsand trash issues were among topics handled Tuesday during a routinemeeting of the mayor and board of aldermen.

In response to concerns about higher health insurance costs,aldermen approved an agreement with King’s Daughters Medical Centerfor the hospital to conduct pre-employment physicals for $65each.

“I think this is what we’ve been needing,” said Ward FourAlderman Bob Massengill. “I think this is really going to help usin the long run.”

Mayor Bill Godbold said KDMC can provide a good service for thatcost. He reminded department heads that prospective employees willneed to get the physicals.

The city has absorbed over 20 percent increases in employeehealth insurance costs the last two years and aldermen have beenlooking for ways to remedy that situation.

In other activity, Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron initiated adiscussion about vandalism of city street signs.

“I’ve seen some we’ve put up be torn down again in threemonths,” Cameron said.

Ward Three Alderman the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson suggestedsurveillance cameras be put up at problem areas in an effort tocatch culprits. However, Police Chief Pap Henderson speculated thatwould be expensive and the money could be better usedelsewhere.

City officials said sign thieves could be prosecuted forvandalism or petty larceny.

“We’ve got the law with us if we can just catch them,” Godboldsaid.

Traffic Supervisor Jimmy Furlow indicated the sign vandalism wasnot a recent problem.

“It’s been a problem ever since we put the signs up,” Furlowsaid.

Also, with the holidays approaching, aldermen authorized aspecial city wide trash pick up to improve appearance. The trasheffort would be limited to residential areas and not commercialzones.

“We want to make a good impression,” Cameron said, citingvisitors to the city for the holidays.

In another trash-related topic, Godbold suggested the boardexplore the possibility of purchasing some land south of the formerlandfill on County Farm Road and using it as a new landfill orrubbish field. The mayor said he and City Engineer Carl Ray Furrwere looking into the possibility and whether the site would meetDepartment of Environmental Quality landfill regulations.

“We’re getting all the groundwork done now,” Godbold said.

Also Tuesday, associate city engineer Hugh Long said the cityhas re-advertised for bids for paving of the runway at theairport.

Long said the bids are to be received Dec. 1 and he hoped tohave recommendation for the board at its Dec. 2 meeting. Theproject had to be re-bid due to an error in calculating the numberof days it had to be advertised.

In a related matter, aldermen agreed to ask the county for helpin putting up a fence along the south border of the airportproperty. Aldermen said the city could buy fence posts and wire,estimated at around $600, and the county could install thefence.

A coin flip was used to decide what company would move an officebuilding from near the Jewish cemetery.

State law requires government entities to take the lowest andbest bid, but Van Norman House Moving and Moak’s Housing each bid$1,800 for the work. Building Inspector Steve Moreton said flippinga coin is the stated method for deciding when bids are thesame.

“Heads, Moak,” Moreton said.

At Moak’s request, the board agreed to waive a moving permit feeand then awarded the bid to that company.