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City leaders won’t allow car-flipping

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Officers to get new vests; Nugent says kids take over street

By KEVIN KOELLING
Managing Editor

CANNELTON – On their attorney’s advice, the Cannelton Board of Public Works and Safety took no action at a regular meeting Oct. 8 on a request from a towing company to permit the flipping of cars.

Shur-Way Pro Towing wanted to provide training to employees on techniques for righting flipped cars, Police Chief Lee Hall said. He brought the request up at a previous meeting, saying it could be an opportunity to train police officers on accident investigation, as well, but the city leaders opted to seek more information before deciding.

“As a person who watches liability issues,” attorney John Werner told them, “I would prefer that they go somewhere else. We operate on a very thin budget. You don’t have the luxury to invite liability claims. Financially, the city can’t afford to be a risk-taker.”

Hall reported that his department had received a U.S. Department of Justice grant to partially fund the replacement of bullet-proof vests.

The state requires that vests not be used after their warranties expire, he explained before the works board voted to recommend the common council pay the city’s 50-percent share from its riverboat fund. The council voted to accept the recommendation and pay the approximately $7,357.50, half of which will be refunded.

Hall explained the city has 12 officers but two are issued vests by the sheriff’s department, where they work full time. Six of the city’s officers are reserves, three are full time and the other three are part time. The vests have five-year warranties, the chief added.

Another issue that died for lack of action, this time by the council, was a request to add a stop sign at Fifth and Mason streets. It, too, came up at a previous meeting, but surfaced when traffic was being detoured due to construction on Seventh Street.

“It was bad,” Councilwoman Kim Nugent said, “because everybody was coming through there … they did get big trucks through there, but now there’s nothing.”

She had talked to a couple of the area residents, she said.

“I talked to most of them on that block, also,” Councilman Melvin McBrayer said. “It was about 50-50.”

Councilwoman Lynn Fulkerson noted she was absent the previous two meetings but read about the issue in their minutes.

“It was partly because of the kids,” she said. “Kids aren’t supposed to be in the street playing anyway.”

Nugent said that’s a problem she hears about more than lack of stop signs.

“The kids won’t move,” she said. “That’s a problem we have on St. Louis Avenue. There’s (about) half of that block where there’s three or four rows of houses and they’ve all got three or four kids, and they decide to play football or kickball or just be out in the road on their bicycles, and they’ll just sit there and watch you and make you stop. And then sometimes you get the bird and sometimes you don’t. It just all depends on what kind of mood they’re in.”

Councilman Jack Harris noted that “kids in the cities always play in the streets.”

Several council members agreed that adding another stop sign would be too many for a short distance.