In June 26 - July 2 issue By Derek Aaron Times Journal Reporter
JAMESTOWN - During last month's meeting of the City Council, Councilman Larry Joe Murray suggested that the city look into buying two new police cruisers.
This month, however, Murray had a change of heart and Police Chief Mike Keaton had an alternative choice for the city's new police vehicles — Kawasaki's "Mule," a large all-terrain vehicle.
"I realize we've got a couple of cars that's in pretty bad shape but I also realize that due to the fact that the economy is in the shape its in, gas being as high as it is, I think we need to shelve this project for the time being," Murray said.
Chief Keaton presented a proposal for the city to buy two Kawasaki Mule's from Rex's Cycle Shop in Columbia, a 2007 model and a 2008 model. The combined cost of the two all-terrain vehicles is nearly $24,000 and would mostly be used on second and third shifts of Jamestown police officers.
"What the police department is looking into is that it is a good tool to be implemented for patrol in the city, on the sidewalks and streets," Keaton said.
Keaton said the Mules would allow him and his officers to have more face-to-face contact with the citizens of Jamestown.
The Mules, which run on diesel fuel, would pay for themselves in three years through savings in fuel costs, according to Public Works Director Ottis Skaggs.
Keaton said the police department would utilize one of the new Mules while the other would be used by the Maintenance Department for various city jobs.
He said apprehended persons would not be transported in the all-terrain vehicle.
The city's leaders voted unanimously to accept the buying of the two vehicles while Mayor Brooks Bates said that fuel costs for police cruisers had nearly doubled since this time a year ago.
In other happenings at the meeting—
• The council accepted the 2008-09 fiscal year's budget. The general fund balance carried forth was $541,413 with total revenues for the year anticipated to be $949,850. City Clerk Kim Weston said the city's estimated general fund balance on June 30, 2009 at $533,050.
• Mayor Brooks Bates acknowledged George Alford of Jamestown for his business ventures within the city. Alford, who owns The Meeting Place restaurant will soon be opening the Jamestown Center with dancing, painting, bingo and a slew of other activities.
• The council heard the second readings of the occupational tax ordinance, 2008-04, and the street specifications ordinance, 2008-05.
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