By Joshua Huff, sports editor
ARGO — The addition of new surveillance cameras became a topic of discussion at the Argo City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. A representative from Alabama Power presented a surveillance tool that could be mounted on existing poles that track vehicle types, color and license plates.
There is no video feed, but snapshots that are uploaded into the cloud and can only be accessed by the police and never by Alabama Power. The images would be stored for only 30 days before they are deleted. Argo would pay a monthly fee of $166.67 per camera and the contract would last 24 months, thereafter, should Argo renew, the city would be given a replacement camera.
“The cameras are not a speed camera,” the representative said. “It cannot tell how fast anybody is going. It cannot generate tickets or anything like that. All it does is it takes the license plates that are going by and puts it into a database. Since the police will have access to this, they can run it against the NCIC. If there is anybody coming into the city wanted for murder, stolen vehicles, warrants, sex offenders, the police will get an alert to their car and show what they’re wanted for.”
The council will research the topic further.
In other Argo news, the storm shelter behind City Hall at 100 Blackjack Road will be delivered this Thursday, Sept. 26. The shelter will house up to 100 people.
The council unanimously passed an amendment to the employee health insurance resolution wherein all full-time employees are now immediately eligible for health insurance. The city will pay 100% of single coverage and the city will pay for a portion of the cost if the employee elects to include family members with a cap of $200 per month. The employee is responsible for the remainder of the premium. The amendment passed unanimously.
The Argo city website will get a new makeover. The cost has already been included in the yearly budget. The council voted unanimously to hire ADR Business and Marketing Strategies to update the website.
Improvements to Katie Lane took a step forward as the council voted to accept the bid of Harrison Builders Inc. to shore up piping that runs under the road. That option allows for the road to remain open.
The meeting concluded with the mayor asking for $1,000 to get starting with applying to grants to get the word out about the upcoming census. The motion passed unanimously.
“The county has decided to umbrella all the cities underneath the county and apply for a grant to pay for literature, signs, banners and that sort of stuff,” Mayor Betty Bradley said. “To help the cities out so that we can get the most accurate count that we can possibly get.”
Each city gets around $1,600 per person counted in the U.S. Census.
The mayor and others have already come up with events throughout next year that will get the word out for citizens to participate in the census: A table at the Halloween candy giveaway, a Christmas parade census float, an event on the fourth of July called “Police be our Valentine,” and an Easter egg hunt.