Dora police report busy month

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DORA – The agenda for Thursday evening’s city council meeting had only one business item, so Mayor Randy Stephens used the time to give updates on departmental reports and several ongoing projects.

Stephens gave a “shout out” to Police Chief Jared Hall for a busy month for the his department.

“It’s been a very productive month,” Hall said. Some of the reports and cases included 96 drug-related arrests, eight eluding police cases, and misdemeanor arrests. Hall explained that some of the numbers included multiple charges against the same person.

Several felony arrests stemmed from drug search warrants the department executed, according to Hall.

“I think the people in Dora that use and sell drugs know that the police department is after them,” Stephens said.

Hall has made several drug distribution arrests as a member of Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith’s multi-jurisdiction task force.

“I always try to think, 'Does this bust affect our community here in Dora, Sumiton, Empire, or Yerkwood?'” Hall said.  “We don’t want the paraphernalia; we want the ones who are distributing and selling drugs in our area.”

“I think our police department does a good job, and I’m pleased with them,” Stephens said.

In other action, the council:

• Approved a request from the fire department to replace the light bar on Engine No 3. The cost to replace the bar is $2,800.

The light bar was damaged last year by a limb that was hanging low across a city street. Stephens asked the fire and street departments to do a drive-through on all city streets and map out areas where limbs are hanging too low. Once the team identifies problem areas, he will have a tree trimmer to remove the limbs. 

• Heard Stephens give an update on the guardrail project on Sharon Boulevard near the entrance to Dora High School. He said the contractor had been hampered by bad weather, but they had reached out to 811 location service so that crews can install the guard rails without damaging underground facilities.

• Heard Stephens give an update on the street resurfacing project. The project manager from Good Hope Contracting notified the city that construction should begin in about a month. “We’re looking at the paving to begin in July,” Stephens said.

• Heard Stephens give an update on replacing the Commerce Avenue Bridge near Horse Creek Blvd. Robert Nelson, the city engineer, is waiting to start this project until the summer. “He wants to wait until the creek dries up a little bit, and the water is down before doing this work,” Stephens said. 

• Heard Stephens report that he is getting complaints from citizens about maintaining streets that the city does not own. Several streets within the city that are on private property, and according to Stephens. The city has never maintained these streets.

According to attorneys, the city could legally take some of these streets and maintain them. “We could compile a list of the ones we think would benefit the city – to be a city street and maintain it,” Stephens said.  Many of these were private drives, but in cases where it would benefit the city, Stephens would be in favor of the city obtaining the right-of-way and start maintaining them.