Salisbury Council News In Brief

SALISBURY – During this week’s Mayor and City Council meeting, several agenda points including bids, ordinances and resolutions were approved.

Bids Awarded To Purchase Police Department Equipment

The council approved the police department’s request for property room evidence lockers at the expense of $14,306 and equipment to support two automated license plate recognition systems at the expense of $17,148.

According to Major David Meienschein, the police department’s current evidence and property lockers were installed in 1996 when the department was built. Over the last 15 years, repairs have been made to maintain the lockers but the hinges and key mechanisms have officially become worn out. The lockers are a critical component relating to accountability and chain of custody of property and evidence in criminal cases. The expenditure will be transferred from surplus funds in the Salaries-Non Clerical account to the department’s Equipment account.

The department is in need of two Toughbook computers, one power edge server and one PC Smart-UPS power supply to support two automated license plate recognition systems that were purchased through the Homeland Security funding. The purchase meets the threshold for unbudgeted capital expenditures and will be transferred from the surplus funds in the Salaries-Non Clerical account as well.

Unemployment Costs Spike

According to the ordinance, the city provided $42,000 for unemployment charges in the Fiscal Year 2011 General Fund budget. The city has already spent $33,000 of that amount in unemployment charges through the first half of the fiscal year.

There are not enough sufficient funds in the unemployment account to cover the remainder of the fiscal year. City staff is expecting a shortfall of funds in the amount of $40,000 but there is a sufficient balance in the General Fund Surplus to offset the cost.

The City Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance in second reading to approve the increase of the General Fund Surplus by $40,000 and increase the Debt Service and Other Uses by $40,000.

Speed Monitoring Devices Approved For School Zones

The council passed an ordinance to approve the installation of speed monitoring devices in school zones on first reading.

According toPolice Chief Barbara Duncan, the department believes that through the use of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) systems in school zones it will be able to increase driver education and awareness of speed-related crashes and enforcement measures.

“The goal of such a program is to encourage a positive change in driver behavior for the benefit of the school children of Salisbury, I therefore request that City Council consider adopting the attached ordinance,” she said.

The ordinance states the school zone speed monitoring system may operate Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. A vehicle will be cited if monitored going 12 mph above the speed limit and is subject to a maximum fine of $100.

Accord With Marshals Okayed

The council voted unanimously to approve a resolution allowing the city to enter into a license agreement with the United States Marshal’s Service to modify and repair the city’s property on Isabella Street for the purpose of housing the Capital Regional Fugitive Task Force (CARFTF) for a three-year period.

The U.S Marshal’s Service has agreed to pay the costs of cable, Internet and telephone services, as well as incur the costs of all upgrades and repairs to the building. The city will be responsible to pay for utilities including water, gas, electric and sewer.