MIDDLEPORT — It was reported to Middleport Village Council members at Monday night’s meeting that additional surveillance equipment is being provided to the Middleport Police Department by Homeland Security.
Mayor Michael Gerlach said that the new equipment is in addition to the laptop computers provided by that agency for the cruisers last month. The equipment comes to the village at no cost.
Homeland Security is now providing the police a cruiser camera that scans license plates as cars pass by. Using a national database, the camera automatically sees and reports cars that are stolen or are associated with criminals, “giving the officers a heads up on how dangerous the people in the car might be,” said the mayor.
He added that the village is also being provided with an electronic fingerprinting machine for the new jail that is also tied into the same national database. It can alert officers to the record of the person going into jail and warrants for their arrest from other areas of the nation. The cost of the machine, according to Officer Mony Wood, would have been approximately $30,000 had the police department purchased it.
It was also noted that Officer Shannon Smith was able to have the Blauer Company donate 10 chemical suits to be used in tearing down meth labs. The cost of each suit is $4,000, it was noted. Gerlach pointed out that Rick Smith, a Middleport officer, is the only officer in the county trained to tear down meth labs.
A second meeting for those interested in being a part of the Community Watch was announced for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday to be held in the community center at village hall. Anyone interested in participating in the watch program or learning more about it is invited to attend.
During the meeting necessary legislation to move forward on establishing the village impound lot, and to seize, hold and store vehicles and levy costs to the owners involved,was passed.
Clerk-Treasurer Sue Baker was authorized as the person to accept funding from FEMA relating to June windstorm damage which is aimed at reimbursing the village for the cost of clean-up. A resolution to create a new fund to receive and expend the FEMA money was created by Council as the law requires.
Mayor Gerlach reported that PDK will begin installation of new guard railing on Middleport Hill this week. He noted that the hill will be closed to traffic while the work is being done. The mayor also noted that the gas company is still in town doing line replacement, and he stressed the importance of completion of their work in the areas where paying will begin soon.
The condition of military signs marking village entrances was discussed with Coucilman Craig Wehrung volunteering to determine needed repair or replacement.
Julia and Rex Houston were present at the meeting to promote the Riverbend Arts Council’s “Art in the Village” program which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Riverbend Arts Council. It is a free art show with children’s art activities including face painting and painting demonstrations by area artists. There will also be vendors, entertainment and a Chinese auction..