Council hears about police grant
by Rachel Davis
Apr 17, 2013 | 647 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SUMITON — Sumiton residents can expect to see increased police patrols from May 20 to June 2 due to an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grant to assist with seatbelt enforcement. The grant, which equals approximately 75 overtime hours, is part of the “Click It Or Ticket” campaign.

A small portion of the funding can be used for educational or administrative purposes, but the bulk of the money must be used for traffic enforcement and, specifically, drivers who are not wearing seatbelts or proper child restraints, as required by law. A portion of this grant states the department should maintain an average of two written contacts per hour for the duration of this project.

The seatbelt requirement in the state of Alabama was signed into law in 1999. Although fines are considerably less than for most moving violations, officers can stop a vehicle just for a seatbelt or child restraint violation or can add it to another violation.

The Sumiton City Council heard about the grant award at its regular council meeting Tuesday morning.

In other business:

•Melinda Williams, of the American Cancer Society, spoke to the council about a scheduled 5k run to raise money for the Cancer Society. The run is scheduled for June 22 and will be a color run-type event.

•Mayor Petey Ellis said that citizens have been coming to him complaining about abuse of handicapped parking spaces in the city. The city’s current ordinance does not allow the police to properly enforce the designated handicapped parking spaces. Efforts are currently underway to rewrite the ordinance to empower the police to enforce the parking designations. Ellis said he will bring the new ordinance to the council at a future meeting for further discussion and a vote.

•Ellis also said the city will be taking steps to notify owners of nuisance properties in the city that the property needs care or improvements.