Obion to hire officer, lease new police car

Obion to hire officer, lease new police car
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
The Obion City Council is kicking off the new year with an eye toward the future.
Plans were put in motion Tuesday night to hire a new police officer for the town and to lease a new police car through the state.
The council also endorsed a new emergency contact system for city residents, which would help emergency response agencies during a disaster.
Also during Tuesday’s half-hour session, the council announced there will be a very important public hearing at 11 a.m. Friday to consider possible projects for the state’s Community Development Block Grant program. The public hearing will be held at Obion City Hall.
The council agreed to advertise for applicants for a vacancy in the police department, which was created by the recent transfer of officer Britt McClain to the Troy Police Department.
The council also agreed to acquire a new patrol car for the police department through a three-year lease program offered under a state contract.
Mayor Glen Parnell provided members of the council with copies of a notice announcing Friday’s public hearing.
“We’re going to try get some money if we can,” Parnell said.
Friday’s public hearing was scheduled to give city residents an opportunity to share ideas for possible projects that would qualify for CDBG funding.
One of the projects brought up during Monday night’s meeting was the need for affordable housing in Obion.
“That would be great,” council member Patsy Barker said in response to the housing idea.
It was council member Renee Webber who brought up the need for an emergency contact system for the city. She shared a proposed emergency contact form with members of the council.
She said she was provided the form by Obion Fire Chief Jamie Evans.
“If it saves one life, it’s worth it to me,” Ms. Webber said as she explained how the form would help emergency responders. “I’m going to make my dad fill out one.”
City residents, and particularly elderly residents, will be asked to voluntarily fill out the form with information about emergency contacts and any health issues that might be relevant to emergency responders in a time of disaster. The forms and all the information in them would be protected under HIPAA privacy rules (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).
In the event of an emergency, the information in the forms could be used to make emergency contacts. The information in the emergency contact forms would also help emergency responder, who would be made aware of specific health issues that could help them rescue or assist someone in need.
“It’s a good idea,” council member James Depriest said. Others on the council agreed.
Plans are still being made on how to educate city residents on the importance of the forms. The forms will be made available through city hall and Ms. Webber said she would make a presentation to the senior citizens group that meets at the Obion Community Center.
In other action Tuesday night, the council:
• Was informed by city recorder Jana Fluty there is some “dissatisfaction” with the city’s new Humana health insurance plan. Although the new plan is saving the city money, Ms. Fluty said problems have surfaced with the new policy.
The council discussed the issue for several minutes and agreed to have an insurance representative meet with the council to discuss the city policy. If the problems aren’t worked out, council member Bob Anderson offered a simple solution.
“I’m thinking we may need to rebid this,” he said.
Tuesday night’s meeting was opened in prayer by council member James Depriest and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Parnell.
Absent from Tuesday night’s meeting were council members Polk Glover and Mike Miller.
Published in The Messenger 1.5.12

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