FILLMORE -- New reserve police officers could soon be patrolling the streets of Fillmore in a newly acquired car.
The town council gave final approval to an ordinance upping the number of reserve deputies allowed on the Fillmore Police Department at Thursday's meeting. Council members also received news of the department's new car, donated by the Putnam County Sheriff's Department.
The council passed the second reading of the police reserve ordinance, having already approved the first reading in February. There is no longer a specific limit on the number of reserve deputies allowed in the department.
Previously, Marshal Darrel Bunten was allowed only one reserve deputy in the department. However, cuts to the number of paid deputies due to budget constraints have changed the department's needs.
The rescheduled date of this month's meeting meant Bunten could not be in attendance due to a scheduling conflict, but he sent a letter to the council reporting the acquisition of the car, a 2003 Mercury Marauder.
The Marauder is replacing the departments 2003 Dodge Intrepid. Although the two cars are the same model year, the Marauder is in much better shape than the Intrepid.
Bunten has reported serious problems to the vehicle's front end at recent meetings.
"It's a real nice car," councilor Curt Leonard said. He added that the Sheriff's Department had used the car to patrol Interstate 70.
"I'd like to thank Sheriff Steve Fenwick, the Sheriff's Department and the Putnam County Commissioners because that's going to be a real nice car," Leonard added.
The council approved the expenses of getting the car aligned and new tires. Bunten's report said the only additional expense should be the installation of equipment.
In other police department news, council members reported the resolution of a theft case at Liberty Industries and the bust of a methamphetamine lab.
The council also approved Utility Manager Joe Cash's request for 20 additional non-mechanical water meters. He said the meters come at no additional cost to the mechanical units, but have a warranty that lasts 10 years longer.
Asked by Leonard if this was all the meters the town needed, Cash said the number was approximately 35. Cash said he would ask for more when the 20 requested were installed.
Leonard also brought up the matter of the town getting its own fuel tank for the police and utility vehicles.
It is unclear if buying in bulk is actually cheaper, or if it is just a matter of convenience. However, even the convenience of saving Town Clerk Wanda Seidler the paperwork of billing from gas stations would be a positive.
Leonard will look into the matter and report back at a future meeting.