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Dunbar officials approve update of ordinances

By Bridget May

Dunbar officials are bringing city ordinances in line with new state legislation regarding seatbelts and cellphone use while driving.

Laws making driving without a seatbelt and driving while talking and texting a primary offense recently took effect. Dunbar police now have the authority to stop and cite drivers who appear to be in violation of those laws; however, until city ordinances are updated, anyone cited must be appear in county court.

City Council members approved final passage of an amendment updating the city's ordinance on cellphone use. It goes into effect in 30 days.

An amendment to the city's safety belt ordinance was passed on first reading. It will be up for second reading at the next meeting.

Updating city ordinances will allow these violations to be taken up in city court, which will allow Dunbar to receive money from municipal fees and court costs.

Council members passed a resolution for the ordinances to be codified by the Walter Drake Co. at a cost of $14,790.

Mayor Terry Greenlee said it has been more than 10 years since the last time the city's ordinances were codified. Walter Drake also performed the work last time.

Greenlee said the company would simply "clean up the books" by compiling all of the city ordinances and filtering out those that have been replaced by new ordinances. The company will also make all city ordinances accessible online.

Greenlee said the project would take six to eight months.

In other business, Police Chief Earl Whittington announced the police department is working to form a drug unit.

"We are going to aggressively start going after these problem areas," Whittington said.

He asked the public to report any suspected drug activity making an anonymous call to the tip line to help police prioritize so they can work on catching larger targets.

Whittington said the police department is taking the stance "no drugs, no thugs."

Council also approved:

About $2,500 to replace a fire station door.

A $1,500 payment to American Geotech Inc. for the inspection of Anderson Dam.

The purchase of a garbage truck diesel filter, for which labor and material is not to exceed $3,275.41.

A measure authorizing Whittington to purchase equipment for two new police cruisers, for which cost is not to exceed $10, 800.


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