In unfinished business from the prior meeting, seal coating Carolyn, Dana, Gay Streets and the fire station parking lots were the topic of discussion. In July, the council agreed to allow Atlas Asphalt, the winning bidder for other chip coating and sealing projects in the Highland area, to submit a bid for the additional streets to also be coated and sealed. A motion was made by Alderman Lawrence Allen to accept the $9,043.16 bid; it was seconded by Alderman Woodrow Pardue. The vote was unanimous to allow Atlas to perform the work.
In other unfinished business, Highland City Council continued the discussion about the need for a barrier around the new fire station. In the July council meeting, the discussion was tabled until some options were found for the potential safety hazard created by the drop-off beside the fire station. Highland Fire Chief Stephen Davis brought some ideas about a chain linked fence to close off the hazardous area from the fire department. He located prices on the internet and posed this option to council. Highland Mayor Jerome Norwood also had ideas in which to address the needed barrier. He located a used guardrail system and presented the price of $2,801.77 to council. Members of council thought the guardrail was not a good idea because children could easily cross the low lying barrier. Because social functions will be hosted from time to time at the new fire station, Alderman David Harris suggested putting the fence system out for bid. The new station is due to open in about six weeks and Harris made it clear to council that the fence needed to be erected prior to opening. Alderman Joe Black seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in agreement to put the fence system out for bid.
In new business, Norwood told council that the city's Durango had a cracked block. Because the Durango also needs major repairs to the front end, Norwood recommended selling the vehicle as is, at an auto auction. Council agreed to sell the vehicle.
Following this discussion, council went into executive session to discuss the need for a third full-time officer on the police department, as well as to discuss the appointment of a new police chief.
Council appointed officer Jeremy Stevens as the new police chief and agreed to advertise the position for a new officer.
Stevens is a 1999 Highland High School graduate who has lived in the Sharp County area since he was 10. Stevens's law enforcement history goes back nearly a decade to 2000 when he applied to the Cherokee Village Police Department's reserve officer program. In June of 2001, Stevens graduated the reserve officer's 100 hour course. In 2004, he was hired part- time with the Highland Police Department where he worked for nearly a year before becoming full-time. In August of 2005, Stevens attended the 587 hour course taught at Black River Technical School's Law Enforcement Training Academy. He graduated in November of 2005 where he worked until he was promoted to sergeant on Jan. 1, 2008. He worked in this capacity until his promotion to Highland Police Chief.
Stevens says he looks forward to serving the community in which he grew up and attended school.