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City to charge inmates for expenses

Staff writer

Monday night at Peabody City Council meeting, City Administrator Mac Manning presented an ordinance to the mayor and council that would recapture some or all of the jail expense from individuals incarcerated by Peabody Municipal Court.

“Chief (Bruce) Burke brought this up during budget discussions in 2011,” Manning said. “Recently Brad Jantz, our new Municipal Court Judge, suggested the same thing. He has submitted an ordinance to implement the recapture of some of these costs.”

Manning said that Burke checked with several other cities that have such an ordinance in place and found that they are collecting about 35% to 40% of what they billed.

“If the prisoner has medical or dental problems, the city could end up being liable for those payments as well for the housing costs,” Manning said.

Manning presented council members with a draft ordinance prepared by city attorney Norm Manley allowing the city to recoup costs associated with a prisoner’s housing, transfer, and medical care.

Peabody City Council approved the ordinance by unanimous vote.

In other business:

  • Mayor Larry Larsen signed a proclamation declaring the month of April Fair Housing Month in Peabody.
  • The city council approved the purchase of a swimming pool lift capable of lifting a 350 lb. person into the municipal pool. The lift will cost $3,640.25. It is required at all public facilities by the federal government to satisfy Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
  • Kelly Cook, Chief of the Fourth Fire District, addressed the council with a request for financial assistance for the purchase of an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator to be put into the department’s rescue truck. The council approved spending $934.00, half the cost of the AED.
  • Manning reported the Public Works Department staff was back up to full strength with the return of Harold Brooks, Jr., who has received a full release from his doctor effective this week.
  • Manning said he and Manley have been working on a document to address streets and alleys that have been vacated but may have utility services that were installed either before or after they were vacated. Manning said the city could maintain a ‘prescriptive easement’ where utilities are present. He said attorney Manley advised against vacating streets or alleys in the future unless necessary.
  • The council heard that APAC will begin work on completion of the Locust Street project after July 4. It also was noted that there has been no communication from Marion County Road and Bridge Department about when the council could expect work to go forward on Peabody Street.
  • Manning announced that the citywide garage sale will be May 5, 2012 and citywide cleanup the following week.
  • The council approved the purchase of a new water trash pump at a cost of $1200. Council members also heard that Public Works Director Darren Pickens will take the mosquito sprayer to Salina on April 11 to be serviced. Pickens will also receive certification. There is no charge for either.
  • Pickens told the council that the new baseball scoreboard is in and ready for installation.
  • Council member Tim Peterson was appointed to the finance and ordinance committee and the fire committee.

The next city council meeting will be at 7 p.m. April 9 in the city building.

Last modified March 29, 2012

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