CLOVERDALE -- Several officers of the Cloverdale Police Department showed up Tuesday evening to lend their support to Cloverdale Police Chief Jon Chadd as he continues to work toward making several changes within the department.
Several board members spoke out about seeing Cloverdale police vehicles around the state, in places that they believed they should not be, including on Interstate 70, in Brazil, Spencer and more.
"It's just things we have to do," Chadd explained. "They do have a limited personal use of the vehicle. It's in-county and two surrounding counties. They don't abuse it. They also pay for the gas."
Many places listed by Chadd included trips to several court cases in surrounding areas along with training facilities in Plainfield and Indianapolis.
The hot button issue, however, was the amount of gas being used by the department. Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Galloway recently had Goss Oil attach a new meter to the town's gasoline pump.
Galloway presented Chadd with a list of how much fuel the police department is believed to have been using.
"The fuel pump has issues," Chadd explained. "I've asked for a credit card reader that each individual employee puts in their own number. Our fuel pump is not secure. Everybody has a key to it. It's not controlled at all. We track our mileage. We track our fuel."
Galloway listed what was believed to have been fuel used by the utility workers versus the police department. However, Town Attorney Allan Yackey noted that if a loose key were out there, any fuel that was believed to be unaccounted for has been automatically added to the police department's numbers.
The police department has three keys while the utility department is said to have four keys for its six employees.
It was not stated how many others may possibly have keys.
"We are still well within our budget. I'm positive of it. I have the numbers to prove it," Chadd said. "The police department is getting run through the mill."
Stealing gas was not the issue at hand; it was the amount being used. Although, Chadd stressed adding a card reader to the pump the lack of money throughout the town will prevent that.
With the town already in financial trouble, there are no funds to pay for a card system. Chadd also noted that the police department is expected to use more gas, as the department's job is to patrol the town.
"Nobody is going to sit here all day," he explained. "I don't want them to because then they're not out there (patrolling)."
Gas is only part of the issue.
"Things aren't working," council vice president Dennis Padgett said. "When you hear the numerous amounts of complaints, you get tired of it. Something has got to be done. It seems like Cloverdale has become like the Wild West."
In the years past, the council previously had received monthly reports from the town marshal, but has gone away from that recently. Chadd did agreed to provide monthly logs to the council, which will include gas usage, mileage as well as the number of traffic stops and so on.
"I will get you the things you are asking for, but it won't stop people from complaining," Chadd said. "Everything that Cloverdale does is logged on a computer, all I have to do is push one button and it comes out."
Although many issues regarding the police department were cleared up, the items actually listed on the agenda still have yet to be discussed.
It is expected that the council will address holiday and overtime pay for fulltime police officers, as well as the purchase of two new cars at next month's meeting.
Following the town marshal, clerk-treasurer Cheryl Galloway came before the council seeking approval to pay the annual $15,000 Fire Protection agreement between Cloverdale and the fire department.
Galloway also was approved to use Atlas Collections, which was previously discussed last month, but the council failed to make an actual motion for approval during that meeting.
Utility manager Rich Saucerman spoke to the board about ordering salt for the upcoming winter. The board approved Saucerman to reserve 100 tons from Morton Salt at $74.35 per ton.
The entire 100 tons does not have to be used, but it will be secured if need be. The town also has 40-50 tons left over from last year.
Last month the council had discussed moving the location of the bulk water station in hopes of installing a meter to keep better track of who is purchasing it. However, it has been decided that the project will be postponed until next spring.
Saucerman and utility workers will soon begin work on the intersection of Cool Evening and Lazy River.
It was decided that a 12-inch pipe would be installed to push the storm water from the northwest corner west to the ravine.
"It will go about 60 feet," Saucerman said. "A 12-inch pipe would be a great improvement."
Council members discussed changes to the handbook, as advised by town attorney Yackey.
Although there were not many changes, major ones include changes in family coverage insurance, which will go up beginning Jan. 1, 2013.
Employees who previously paid a monthly rate of $215.67 will soon be paying $1,082.74. Employee spouse rates, currently listed at $128.55 will also be raised to $995.62. The town will continue to pay the 99 percent premium.
Employees will also receive six personal days. However, if the days are not used they will not carry over into the next year.