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City of Adrian one of safest cities in U.S.

During the City of Adrian’s March council meeting, Chief of Police Kyle Strickland presented welcomed news to the governing body and citizens alike. Since January 1, 2021, the City of Adrian has had 0 reported burglaries, thefts, child molestations, DUIs, speeding, distracted driving-related crashes, child abductions, and rapes.

“Statistically, that makes us the safest legally incorporated city in the United States of America to live and work in. I will not apologize for that,” Strickland said, to which Mayor Wynola Smith, all five council members, and the room full of members of the citizenry responded with claps of commendation. “We will not back off. We will not be intimidated. We will continue to get up every day and do our jobs to make this city a safe place. For people that live here, come through here, and work here—that’s our job.”

Strickland came on board as chief of Adrian’s police force last year. February 2021 marked his one-year anniversary leading APD, and he continued his address to council and the public on Monday night by thanking two officers who have been working alongside him with Adrian Police Department for the last year: Sergeant William Clayton and Officer Dustin Renfroe.

“I don’t do this job by myself. I don’t take credit for everything,” he continued. “This is something these guys do that we ask them to do, but they don’t have to. They both work full-time, and they both bust their butts to come in here and work some. I am honored to have them working for this police department because it means a lot to me.”

Strickland also gave council an update on Adrian Police Department’s financial standings, including its spending on the new patrol truck.

According to the chief, no taxpayer dollars have gone toward developing the truck into a police vehicle; the vehicle and its equipment were purchased through court fees such as citations and fines. In addition, the city is awaiting the potential awarding of a grant to apply to the cost of installing a radar. The vehicle has not been striped yet because under Georgia law, striping of a police vehicle isn’t required unless it is being used for speed enforcement—which the truck is not at this time.

Adrian Police Department, as of January 1, 2021, has brought in $19,152 into the city’s court fund through fines and fees. Of that amount, the court fund has paid the general fund approximately $13,000. The remainder has paid the officers’ salaries plus APD’s light bill. Essentially, Strickland said, the police department is paying for itself and is not relying on taxpayers’ contributions at this point.

Strickland also mentioned the City of Adrian has seen a huge turnaround in the amount of violations in the animal ordinance, thanks to cooperation from city residents and a partnership with the animal shelter.

In other news, Mayor Smith and council discussed changes to water bills, effective the month of April. Due to a growing list of late payments and late fees, the council elected to revert back to strictly enforcing the guidelines set in the water ordinance, which had been relaxed due to COVID-19 months ago. City of Adrian residents, as of next month, have until the end of day every 20th of the month to pay their water bills. Cutoff will be on the 21st of every month.

On a related note, Mayor Smith mentioned to council that city clerk Felicia Owen would be working to collect on old water bill accounts in the near future. Letters will be sent out to holders of delinquent accounts.

Other matters discussed by council included:

Reconciliations, which, as of the March meeting, were still a work in progress. To that end, mayor and council discussed a proposal from Southern Software in the amount of $250 for two hours per account to help sort through the city’s financial errors, which must be done before reconciliations can proceed. Suzanne Hutchison motioned auto accept the proposal with payments being made from one of three accounts (the general fund, the water fund, or the court fund) as applicable. Jesse Yawn made the second, and the vote was 4-1 with Ed Brown opposing.

Two key partnerships with Johnson County School System, including Meals for Kids and a hotspot for the City of Adrian.

Meals for Kids sees the delivery of five breakfast meals and five lunch meals every Wednesday from 11:30 to 12:30 for residents of Adrian. Children do not have to be with the parent/guardian picking up the meals, there is not an age requirement, nor is there a requirement about whether or not the child is attending school or going virtually. To pick up a meal, visit Adrian Community Center on Wednesdays between the designated hours.

As for the hotspot, the piece of technology is plugged in at the annex for area students. The password will be shared on the City of Adrian’s Facebook and website as well as on Johnson County School System’s online presence. The internet is free to use and is intended to make schoolwork more accessible as needed for students.

The purchase of a new laptop for the City of Adrian in the amount of $698. Yawn made the motion, Julie Griffin seconded, and the vote fell 4-1 with Brown opposing.

Updates on the demolition of an area building, a grant application, ditch work, improvements to the community center’s porch, plans for mosquito management ahead of this spring and summer, and research about a new alarm system.

Prior to adjournment, council approved the minutes from its February 8 meeting. Hutchison made the motion, Michelle Love gave the second, and the vote was 5-0. Council also heard updates from department heads with all reporting normal operations for their respective areas.

Finally, council entered executive session to discuss personnel matters. No action was taken.

Adrian City Council will next meet April 12 starting with a workshop at 5:30 p.m. All meetings are held at the Adrian Community Center.

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